To touch briefly on one of your questions (something which I didn't have room to get to in my article): Two behavior modification specialists were intended to fill the gap left by STAR's absence (Dr. Lee specifically said in email correspondence that the behavior modification specialists were not "replacing" STAR). In her May superintendent report, it was presented that one BMS would be full-time, at a cost of $85,047.59, and one would be part-time, at a cost of $32,418.61. However, at the board's regular meeting on July 8, the part-time BMS position was upgraded to full-time by a unanimous vote of the board, based on a recommendation from Lee. Although Lee would not comment on whether the second full-time BMS' salary would equal the first's (she directed me to personnel for such information -- I have not followed-up with them), it's probably safe to assume that it will be in the same ballpark. Even granting a total of $80,000 for the second, that puts the district's total cost for two behavior modification specialists at $165,047, compared to $188,375.60 for STAR's contract, which included four STAR instructors. Lee also would not comment on whether those BMS salary figures included benefits packages or were just gross salary.
it might not be over money, a lot of people are against the star program due to the harshness of the program. my kids were in the star program at one point. one for behavior, and one for grades. the star program fixed the problems at school quick. it was a hassle to get them in due to a administrator thinking the instructors were to tough on the kids and did everything he could to talk parents out of putting kids in it. but once you become the superintendent, you can just cut the program. then blame it on money
GACPL- thanks for sharing. You stated your child was placed in the Star Program because of grades? Was the poor grades related to behavior or learning? I wouldn't recommend placing a child that has issues possibility related to learning in boot camp. If the issues were directly related to " behavior" than I certainly understand.
You stated " the program fixed the problems". Was the problem fixed for that school year or was the problem fixed long term?
I hope you're not offended by my questions. Your feed-back gives me a better picture of star and it's great to hear a success story.
Jmacbee- thanks for the quick response. I thought your article was informative thought provoking and detailed. Great job!!
he didn't have any learning problems, he would do his homework, then not turn it in. in class he would doodle and not pay attention as much has he should of. the problem was fixed for good after 1 month in the program. the instructor in long county was cpt ratford. (not sure if i spelled it right). she was strict and really watched out for the kids. even if you were out of the program, she still would check up on you. to keep the fear of the consequences if the problems start up again. from our experience the program really works and is a real loss to the school system not to have it.
The Chatham County Board of Education has the Behavior Modification Specialist/Behavior Interventionist job posted for 50,000 less than the County Board of Education.
Does anyone stop to ponder and ask; why are the same stringent practices regarding discipline part of the "normal" education environment? Even the "best kids have the propensity to buck the system. In my day a smack on the ass from the school, Mom, Dad, Uncle, and Family pet seemed to be able to balance discipline and education in the same setting.
As a society we are affronted if corporal punishment is considered an option concerning behavior modification We are also the same society that seems content with expecting teachers. coaches, and guidance counselors to raise our children. Not all got it, but teachers are no longer regarded as authority figures. We tend to question a teachers observation of misconduct and do not accept that our kids could actually be out of line and in need of an attitude adjustment.
Programs such as STAR should be geared more towards kids in a make it or brake it scenario. I mean no disrespect but if my kid is not doing their homework I will engage in my own version of behavior modification. The sad truth is the guidance and stability found in such programs is not found at home. If the lessons learned in STAR do not continue in the public classroom with re-enfacement in the home, the situation perpetuates itself.
I do concur that there is still a need for the program but the mainline school populous and STAR standards should not be too far off. At the end of the day it is getting them to behave in the same manner regardless of setting
@jmcabee: I just want you to know that you are doing a great job of investigative reporting and to please keep at it. I think the more questions you ask and dig is going to reveal probably some astonishing facts about LCSS and the Superintendent.
I encourage you to press Dr. Lee on her "no comment" comments and to aggressively pursue the many issues swirling around her tenure including salary raises given while under contract for a specifically stated salary. Who got them? Was it legal? Who 'authorized' the raises?
I hope you will be given the time to pursue this story that begs questioning in many areas.
jmcabee: I have a source that wishes to remain anonymous that Dr. Lee was NOT hired for the Superintendent in Birmingham Alabama due to errors in her resume; grammatical, lack of references and other issues.
Probably worth a look.
It seems the 'meat' of the reasons for her non-hire can be discerned in the comments from the various people regarding the specificity of her "Doctorate" and where it was attained, her improper grammar in her submitted resume...etc