Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Superintendent Issues Letter About LEX18 Story On Special Ed Dept. Spendings

This from WLEX:
The Fayette County Public Schools superintendent issued an open letter to Fayette County about LEX 18's investigation into the travel, conduct and spending by administrators in the county's department of special education.

Dr. Tom Shelton's letter was posted on the Fayette County Public Schools' website one day after the story aired on LEX18 News At 6.
In it, he states that "transparency and accountability" are core values within the district. And as a result of LEX18's investigation, reinforces what he expects from "all" school employees - professional, ethical behavior.

One day after LEX18 showed its viewers and readers pictures of what some parents call questionable behavior by special Ed administrators on trips for professional development, an open letter from Fayette County superintendent Tom Shelton read:
"I do not want to minimize the reporting done or defend a lapse in professional judgment demonstrated in these isolated incidents. I expect more of our employees and I take personal responsibility when we fall short."
As a result of the investigation, LEX18 showed emails, Facebook postings and pictures that called into question the actions by some administrators and staff, including a $4,000 trip to a 3-day Las Vegas conference back in 2009. A trip the director of special Ed, Kathy Dykes, took with her boyfriend.
A former employee says he, Dykes and her boyfriend actually skipped a day at the conference and drove nearly five hours to the Grand Canyon for a day of sightseeing. Dykes claims she only skipped a half a day.

Dr. Shelton wrote:
"We will be reinforcing best practices and expectation for social media use with our employee," and went on to state he's developing "a specific code of ethics for administrators."
LEX18 is not done investigating this story. LEX18 still questions the math of driving from Vegas to the Grand Canyon and back in a half a day. We plan to follow up with Dr. Shelton on Friday when he returns from a trip out of the country.


Anonymous said...

There is a pattern here. All of us have seen it before.

The problem is not the teaching staff ---- as it was suggested by Mr. Silberman. The problem is Central Office.

We saw it with Michael, the director of middle schools. We saw it with Melody, the personnel director. And now we see it with Kathy, our special ed director. Abuse of authority.

If the school board members do not line up to correct the problem at IAKKS, they are not doing their job.

The buck stops with Dr. Shelton. He should be relived of his duties.

Anonymous said...

They will be protected! Shelton is currently in Australia with Terry Holliday, Education Commissioner of Kentucky, and you can rest assured they are strategizing as to how to put a public spin on this and sweep in under the rug.

Dykes is eligible for retirement at this point anyway, since she basically did the same thing as Director of Special Education at Lincoln County prior to taking the same position in Fayette County. Her reputation in that district predicted this type of behavior, but Stu Silberman chose to ignore it while he served as the Superintendent.

If anything, they will create a plan where she suddenly announces retirement at the end of this school year and rides off into the sunset with her huge pension and no consequences, but the FCPS central office will proclaim they are changing their approach to special education and hope it sufficiently appeases the public. Just watch how this plays out over the next 30 days!

Anonymous said...

om followed a nontraditional route to a career in education. A certified public accountant, he earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting, a master’s degree in business administration and a Rank I in educational administration from Murray State University. He has completed his Ph.D. degree in educational leadership from the University of Louisville and a graduate certificate program in executive educational leadership from Harvard University."

Lets run through this.

"Tom followed a nontraditional route to a career in education."

I would like a little clarification what that means. Is this why my kids are taught that the Boston Tea Party was a terrorist act? But lets go on regardless.

"A certified public accountant, he earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting"
Ok, got that, an accounting degree.

Third:"a master’s degree in business administration"
Ok, understood, a masters in business administration.

Fourth:"...Rank I in educational administration from Murray State University."

This is not a degree. It is a certificate that says he meets some sort of standard, whatever that may be.

Fifth:"He has completed his Ph.D. degree in educational leadership"

This is still not a teacher. This is educational leadership. It does not deal with what teachers deal with on a daily basis.


Anonymous said...

Tom Shelton earns 200,000 per year.... Dozens of District Staff earn over 100,000 and yet many children do not get the education they deserve! Time for the Department of Education to investigate what is happening!!

History Nerd said...

Off topic, but should be addressed:

To the poster above, the Sons of Liberty were absolutely a terrorist organization. Look up the definition of a terrorist organization and you will find that the SoL qualify as such...that being said, I agree with their goals (and at times their means) and they are on the right side of history so we remember them a bit differently. John Adams opposed their methodology also.

I teach Social Studies in grade school. I refuse to over simplify and romanticize our past...the kids don't think twice about it. They embrace the complexity of the human experience; and they are able to see that I am not pushing a political agenda upon their impressionable minds.

Your other claims about Tom may be valid, but why lead off with terribly weak and faulty reasoning to argue your point? There is no correlation between 5th grade Social Studies instruction and the performance of the Supe in FCPS.

Anonymous said...

As a teacher in the system, I am so disappointed that no action will taken against Ms. Dykes.

I wish the Board Members would read this.

Low morale in te eschools is not the way to go,