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Leaders await audit results

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Light could soon be shed on the claims of nepotism, wasteful spending and a top-heavy central office that have plagued the Richmond County school system for years.

An extensive audit, a cornerstone of Superintendent Dana Bedden's reform efforts, will be delivered to school board members Thursday.

When he signed his contract last summer, Dr. Bedden took on a mandate to reform a school system whose image had suffered from low-performing schools, discipline problems and safety issues.

Since August, he has undertaken efforts to hold teachers, principals and central office staff accountable; implemented a program of continually monitoring student progress; and defused a series of bomb threats that had interrupted schools. But more substantial changes will come about from the audit, he expects.

The MGT of America performance management review that began in November audited the finances, academics, human resources and operations of the school system. It also compared Richmond County to similar school systems.

Persuading the board to invest $167,000 in the audit was a politically astute move on Dr. Bedden's part, said Richard Harrison, the dean of Augusta State University's College of Education. The move provides leverage in convincing board members to accept changes.

"If you don't intend to listen to them, then why bring them in?" the dean said Dr. Bedden could ask board members.

Board members are eager to see the audit because it will provide a direction for the school system.

Thursday "can't get here for fast enough for us to look at it," board member Venus Cain said. She said she is confident it will outline what the board needs to do and how to do it.

Board member Helen Minchew said the audit was approved with the intention that action be taken.

"We have no intention of letting it sit," she said.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.

WHAT'S NEXT

A public meeting has been called for 5 p.m. Thursday at the board's central offices, 864 Broad St., to discuss the results of the schools audit.

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Reality
3
Points
Reality 03/09/08 - 05:08 am
0
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Venus Cain is an example of

Venus Cain is an example of one of the problems..That was money well spent, now if they just listen and implement a plan from the audit....

christian134
1
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christian134 03/09/08 - 09:14 am
0
0
Now, just maybe, the audit

Now, just maybe, the audit will fiind out what con artists have been in charge of the schools. Funds that should have gone into bettering the schools will now stay out of the board members pockets and find their into raising teachers salaries, hiring more personnel so the teachers can actually find time to teach instead of having to spend hours on the mounds of useless paperwork for the local, county and state as well as less children per classroom. Bring on the audit and lets pray it will bring the needed results to the betterment of our children.

fran
1
Points
fran 03/09/08 - 10:49 am
0
0
I hope the audit shows that

I hope the audit shows that the elementary Reading Program is a disaster, Language/Grammar books are not available, Health books are not available, handwriting materials are not available, dictionaries are not available. Program requirements change weekly on a whim. The Reading First Program has teachers jumping through so many unnecessary hoops I feel like I work for Barnum and Bailey instead of RCBOE.

gcap
270
Points
gcap 03/09/08 - 10:49 am
0
0
My mother spent 33 years in

My mother spent 33 years in the Richmond County school system. She loved every minute of it...until Charles Larke took control. Based upon what she said years ago, the auditors should have lawyers, prosecutors and civil defenders, at the ready. Good Luck!

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 03/09/08 - 11:15 am
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Inasmuch as MGT of America is

Inasmuch as MGT of America is not a local- or Georgia-based evaluation entity, we can be more confident that the results of its evaluative efforts will not be colored by "good ole boy/gal system"-type favoritism. Only upon disinterested evaluations of our public school systems can we base legitimate efforts to attain the excellence we'll need to survive and thrive in a highly competitive 21st-Century world.

WW1949
19
Points
WW1949 03/09/08 - 11:20 am
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Charles Larke was a joke. The

Charles Larke was a joke. The only thing he cared about was himself. HE may have a Dr. in front of his name but I don't know where it was earned. He duped Richmond County an d wqalked out with a golden parachutte. ALso, Fran, I remember bringing my own notebooks, pencils, pens and paper to school along with pocket dictionaries. That is your responsibility as a parent. If we didn't bring a dictionary we went to the Library to look up what we needed. That was the years 1954-1967.

justus4
99
Points
justus4 03/09/08 - 12:08 pm
0
0
Children are the country's
Unpublished

Children are the country's future. The audit will demonstrate the total failure of RCBE to prepare today's kids for tomorrow. Further, it will show the poor leadership skills of those past & present administrators keeping a seat warm, but not producing real results within the schools. Solution: Selective early retirement for those with more than twenty years, while offering dollar incentives to new teachers. Also, pay teachers more than administrators and tie performance to salary. Of course, the union will rebel. But use this audit as a foundation to get the distrct's schools in a better position, to prepare the next generation of Americans to excel.

jack
10
Points
jack 03/09/08 - 01:51 pm
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The first effort should be to

The first effort should be to pare down the RCBOE staff which is plagues with nepotism and dead wood. Emphasis whould be on the class room and NOT the RCBOE. Larke is the primary reason the RC schools are in the bottom of the education barrel and has the problems it does. Also, a close look at principals appointed because of color rather than ability and productivity whould be forced into retirement or demoted if they don't have the years to retire. A good place to start is Murphy Middle School.

ccogic
0
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ccogic 03/09/08 - 03:06 pm
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Why would Jack want to see an

Why would Jack want to see an Administrative change at Murphy? The Administration as well as most of the faculty are new. I am sure some things are going to show up in the audit that reflect a need for change. However, pointing the finger at a few is not the solution. The community must work along with RCBOE and the schools so that we can get on with the business of educating children. We have wonderful students and teachers in this system. We also have wonderful people at the board. However, as in anything, there is bad. Let's not criticize the entire system because of the mistake of a few.

Ijustwannaknow
0
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Ijustwannaknow 03/09/08 - 05:17 pm
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I think it will be great to

I think it will be great to tie teachers salary to their performance if they receive support and backing from their administration concerning discipline problems. In many of the Richmond County Schools the teachers cannot teach because all they do every day is handle unruly children. The children that come to school to actually learn loose out on the opportunity to receive the best education that the teacher can offer because of a few students that don't want to learn. Many administrators don't want to be bothered with unruly students. How can you base a teacher's salary on student's that don't or can't perform because they have not been given a fair chance to learn?

heckspawn
0
Points
heckspawn 03/09/08 - 05:41 pm
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0
Denali -Dr. Larke received

Denali -Dr. Larke received his EDD from UGA. It wasn't hard to find out.

deecee
0
Points
deecee 03/09/08 - 09:35 pm
0
0
The Board of Education should

The Board of Education should be ran as if it were a for-profit org; not everyone needs an assistant, not everyone has unlimited spending. My child attends a magnet school, I wonder on a regular basis where they found the wonderful teachers there and why in the world the ones that I had as a Richmond student didnt care about MY education like my childs teachers.

movingforward
40
Points
movingforward 03/11/08 - 01:28 am
0
0
Craigspinks please understand

Craigspinks please understand that the good ole boy/gal system"-type favoritism. will always exist in Richmond County as long as the current board and QLT is in place in RCBE.

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