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BREAKING: Danville School Superintendent Ed Newsome Out On Monday?

“(Editor’s Note: The meeting time is 4:45 PM, not 5PM as earlier reported.)

Yes, we went through this last week. Ed Newsome survived the direct threat to his job during an afternoon and evening of closed Danville School Board sessions. Everything is now coming together and it’s looking like he will part ways with Danville Public Schools on Monday night.

Today, the Danville School Board scheduled a special meeting on Monday, June 30th at 4:45PM.

SouthsideCentral is now extremely confident that an agreement has been reached with Superintendent Ed Newsome that he will not be Superintendent in the coming school year.

Here’s a Big Board of facts, thoughts and opinions about this…

  • June 30th is the last day for board members Rebecca Bolton and George Wilson. This is the absolute last chance for the current version of the school board to make any agreements.
  • Steven Gould and Sharon Dones have not been informed of anything by the current school board. This is shameful as I’ve stated early. The first shameful part is to be making a big school system decision as a partial lame-duck board. The second shameful part is to not at least include the incoming board members on this decision-making process (even in just a briefing).
  • Ed Newsome is a very smart man and has retained Glenn Berger, one of the best attorneys in the region. I had a strong feeling that the last 80-minute closed session involved negotiating a buyout number for Newsome. I had hopes that since no agreement came out of that session, the issue was dead for a while. Apparently, that’s not the case.
  • Yes, I could be totally wrong on this. However, the only other “personnel matter” of importance pending is the naming of a principal for George Washington High School and there’s absolutely no need for a closed session on the last day of this current school board for this.
  • If this happens in the way that I’m thinking it will, this would be a horrible decision on many angles. We’ve got the lame-duck board angle, which I covered above. We’ve got the “causing chaos in the system” angle, because a school system without a known superintendent will flounder around as a new school year starts. Then, we’ve got the most important angle of them all. Money. Buying out Ed Newsome will not be cheap. The search for a new superintendent will not be cheap. The Danville Public School system does not need these additional costs when they’re already stretching their budget as thin as can be. There are already 70 vacancies for teachers in the Danville school system and likely to be more.
  • If the school board plays this correctly on their end, there will be no public comment session. That’s shameful, but I’m sure that will happen to insulate themselves from the deserved all-community outrage.
  • Let me make this perfectly clear. This is not a racial issue. This is action from a school board that has now shown themselves to be vengeful and incompetent stewards of an education system that is a key to the City of Danville’s efforts to recruit industries and jobs to this area. That being said, I’m not indicting every member of the school board, but it’s sad that they are one entity when it comes to making decisions. The black community should have howls of outrage over this. The white community (and every other community) should be howling just as much.

Ed Newsome does not deserve to be “fired” or “bought out” or even “leave on a mutual agreement”. Any school superintendent needs more than one year to fit in and implement changes to correct the mess he inherited when he started the job.

I hope I’m wrong, but I feel that the Danville School Board is about to make a horrible decision that will adversely affect a school system that is already suffering from major problems. SouthsideCentral will be LIVE! at Monday’s meeting and we will update the website with anything else that we find out.

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65 comments to BREAKING: Danville School Superintendent Ed Newsome Out On Monday?

  • Terri brinkley

    I disagree… Newsome needs to me out of our school system simply because he has proven himself to be a poor leader. No one this day and time should be able to divide a community the way he has!!! We need a fresh start with a fresh school board. We need to ask our teachers to reconsider. How can we replace that many teachers and it not be chaotic? I love this town. I love people. But I do not like Newsome! GWHS 81

  • David

    Thanks for quoting me in the next to the last paragraph Bruce!

  • Centurian

    Statistically insignificant? Please….. 70 staff members? Way, way above normal and the ones who i have talked to place the blame for them leaving squarely on Newsome’s shoulders. Yes he had just a year but he made things worse not better. No leadership skills and yes he has divided the community no one else. Not that the board is completely innocent, they have made the worst decisions I have ever seen.

  • Wilson

    What do we know about Newsome beyond the clear evidence that he is a starry-eyed bureaucrat? The terrible judgments and reports of abysmal morale are all subjective opinions. But he has been quite public in demanding an expanding bureaucracy within the DPS system at a time when all the focus should be on the quality of teachers. If a fresh start is needed, it is far better for the old board to undo its bad selection than to hand off the mess to a new board. If SC is correct, and if Newsome is kicked out on Monday, then the new school board members can take a fresh run at rebuilding the school system so that people and businesses will be attracted to us instead of running in the opposite direction. To put the mess in their laps would be the worst move possible. It isn’t whether anything is fair or unfair to Newsome; all that matters is what’s the best thing for our schools.

    • Terri brinkley

      However, to continue when you know a mistake has been made… And not right it… Is even more wrong! We need to start over… Rebuild as quickly as possible… We can not as a community continue like this ! We have got to fix this. It is not as I have stated…. About color…. It is about leadership. He had a huge opportunity at Bonner to show his leadership skills. He failed. He knew coming in our school system transforming. He accepted the challenge. A true leader would not put new security on his office, completely overhaul a website, nor would he redo all DPS logos as a priority. He would lead…. First…. He failed!

      • Mary Jane

        He did that as he was trying to gain a fresh new start. have u thought about that.

        • Wilson

          But Newsome is not elected and clearly not responsive to the people. The school board is. It is the school board that should seek a fresh start. At this point, there is no fresh start for Newsome. He’s toast. The only question should be what’s best for the public schools–not what’s best for Newsome or any other person. .

  • Jerry

    Who predicted this in the comments? : )

  • There are more teachers leaving…..

    • Mary Jane

      what subject did you teach last year?

      • Idiyah

        I think the person possibly taught AG. It appears a lot of those teachers, and parents of AG students, hate Newsome the most. Possibly because he focuses on helping underprivileged children.

        • Tyler Durden

          My kid is in AG. I don’t have an opinion either way about Newsome but to hear the stories from my kid and some of his non-AG friends, Bonner never got better at all the entire year. I’m thankful my kid’s in AG because otherwise they would be in “gen pop” as I call it (because the behavior I hear about sounds like the place is a prison. Fights every day, gangs, etc).

  • TON

    8% — I wonder how the other predictions turn out.

  • Some of you don’t like nobody. So it don’t matter who get in the seat, if things don’t go your way you mad again. Can DPS afford to keep hiring supertindents.

  • David

    I hope you fresh start people get what you asked for because you are gonna get a rubber stamper and not a leader with the next Superintendent you get! They thought they were gonna get a rubber stamper of the failed past policies that Dr. Newsome came into, he wasn’t that puppet they wanted so now he has to go! Way to go DPS Board………

  • J

    Congratulations on continuing to make everything that happens about race. Thank you for once again dividing danville into a “black” community and a “white” community. There’s nothing like writing an article with almost no fact based statements to stir up more racial tensions in danville.

  • T. J. Carter

    Thank u, this is what makes Danville a hateful, evil place to live. I AM so sorry Mr. Newsome, but not at all surprised.
    Elder T. J. Carter

  • zm

    This is bullshit its a racial issue. This the first superintendent that I know that as gotten out and spoke with the community about what he wants changed in the school system. Hell like whenObama came in office yall wanted to blame everything on him. Blame it on the black man yall don’t wanna see a black person do shit to improve anything

  • Perhaps some of the reasons for what the school board is doing are confidential in nature. I am privy to one such situation that would explain a lot if only you knew, but since it involves a minor child, you never will. I believe we all suffer the consequences of our own actions and his poor decisions and lack of appropriate communication are a part of his undoing. This is NOT a race issue, this is simply doing what is in the best interest of our students.

    • Wilson

      My goodness. So we move from racism to an allegation that is “confidential in nature” involving a minor child. Not sure what might be next.

      • Not sure what you are trying to imply, this is a school system with issues related to the education of our children. The truth is what it is though and you can’t change that no matter how you twist it.

        • Wilson

          Which is why you need to spell out what you’re talking about instead of raising a specter that strikes fear in the heart of every decent person. Your inciting those code words dis-serves everyone expressing honest opinions about what needs to be done in a very complex situation.

    • Mary Jane

      Minor Child- are u speaking of the suicide? ALL THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHATS GOING ON DOES NOT FALL ON NEWSOME. IT FALLS ON SUE DAVIS…NEWSOME IS JUS THE INNOCENT BY STANDARD!!! YALL ALL ARE SOME CRAZY FOLKS IF YOU THINK ONE MAN CAN TURN THINGS AROUND OVERNIGHT IN A ONE YEAR PERIOD…..NO ONE CAN DO THAT!!!

  • Barbara T

    The problems with Danville Public Schools did not begin this year. Dr. Ed Newsome walked into a failing school system that had been poorly managed for years and the critics have chosen him to be the scapegoat. The decision to close several schools and consolidate others was made in previous years. Newsome is trying to build in the aftermath of a TORNADO. For the first time in many years the administration of Danville Public Schools does not have a “protected group”, a “click” or function on “a need to know” basis. Everyone now has accountability. The citizens of Danville for the first time have more access to what is happening in the school system and this could be the problem. The more information you provide to the public the more criticism you are bound to receive. Past administration made sure that information was only given on a “need to know basis”

    I am still trying to find the problem with Newsome. What has he done that is so egregious? To simply say he lacks in leadership is not an answer. The critics started with “lacking in leadership” and quickly jumped to “racially dividing the city”. The city has been racially divided for years. Blaming Newsome for racially dividing a city in one year gives him too much credit and power.

    • Lee Smallwood

      As the newspaper spelled out, “racially dividing the city” apparently means not letting rich white parents who can afford private schools call all of the shots. But no this isn’t a racial issue at all.

  • October 2013: Too many referrals. Moratorium on referrals. Existing referrals are forgiven. Don’t write so many referrals. Let the children be children. The children are not the problem; the teacher is the problem. The teacher does not know how to teach and maintain the attention of the student. It is the teacher’s fault.

    Tardy policy: a student cannot be tardy. No referral, no write-up. As long as the student appears in the classroom before class is over- all is good. No tardy. Teacher must allow student to make up any missed work. No penalty to the student.

    Bonner problem. Change of principal. Problem still exists, but is swept under rug. On a tour, the Super and 10 henchmen go to designated areas, and all is good. News reporter is lead around on a leash to problem free areas, and is told problem is solved. Cover up in action!

    April: Academically Gifted program has standards that are too high. Standards must be adjusted so “AG” can be more diverse. Next, the basketball team will have to be more diverse—-hahahaha.

    April-May 2014: Budget. Positions to be added. Administrative at $100,000 per year. Teachers to be reduced. More workload for teachers. Money being spent downtown, teachers have increased workload.
    Games played with “contingency fund”. $300,000 to fund “new administrative positions”. Tomer on City council is only one to have problem with this. City council approves budget.

    May 2014: Super instructs “Acting Principal” at GWHS to eliminate 6 positions—after city council has approved budget. This gives Super $300,000 – $400,000 in budget to spend as he wishes. More workload on teachers. Average class size increases. City Council is “snookered”. They approve a school board budget with a set of criterion.
    Super changes “Criterion” giving ths system more money to play with.

    May 2014: Senior prank. No real punishment. Apologize to the janitors who had to work all night and tell them they were sorry, have learned their lesson, and won’t do it again. Allowed to participate in graduation as if it never happened. What example does it set for other students for next years Senior Prank?

    • Lee Smallwood

      This is a really pathetic list of grievances.

      • mail24540

        Some people like order and discipline in the schools. Some like rules aND a code of conduct.

        Others want the inmates to run the jail.

        • Lee Smallwood

          Some people want to give up on children who are there to learn and can learn by booting them out of class with alarming frequency. Nobody promised any teacher a classroom full of angels who present no challenge. I have a very good sense of what is going on in Danville schools, and it’s all too clear the referral was being used as a crutch. The kids can’t learn in the principal’s office.

      • Retired Teacher

        It’s not pathetic if you are one of the teachers in the positions suddenly cut! Instead of heaping scorn try to learn about the quality and contributions of the local job holders whose careers have been derailed so that people from out of Danville could take high-paying positions.

        • Lee Smallwood

          If in a year with abnormal vacancies there is a teacher who lost a job at GW who cannot fill a different job in this system, there is pretty clearly a problem with that teacher. I suppose it could be that they teach a subject so esoteric there is no additional need for it, but generally I would suggest if someone was cut from a position and not offered a position elsewhere it is a sign they were not a good teacher.

          • Retired Teacher

            Lee, you truly do not know what you are talking about. Stop talking in generalities and ask for specific information. Also, become better informed about teacher licenses.

          • Lee Smallwood

            I understand teacher licensing very well, thank you. I included in my remarks the possibility that the teacher teaches such an esoteric subject that there wasn’t need of a teacher in that field.

            I know this is a prime example of why people who say “listen to the teachers they’ll help you fix the schools” are dead wrong.

    • Louise

      I think the statements or should I say accusations being made are exaggerated. Let’s look at the type of referrals that are being written and why. We can’t get so angry with students that the first and only answer is a referral. Plus, these children are talking but no one is choosing to listen. I am not condoning poor behavior nor am I condoning teachers cursing, yelling, and threatening the children. Perhaps there needs to be mandatory training for ALL teachers in how to maintain a classroom environment that’s conducive to learning for ALL children.

      I can’t help but read the comments from educators and derive at this conclusion. We need to start taking ownership in our part in the chaos. Children can’t learn where there’s no classroom management nor can children learn if our response is to write referrals.

      Let’s face it, children are not perfect. They are a product of their environment. When I read some of the language being used on this blog, I’m floored. Yet, you expect our children to conduct themselves in a different manner. Let’s be proactive and start looking for a positive way you can help our school system.

      Lastly, the rigor of the Standards of Learning assessments has changed. Teachers are faced with the challenges of adjusting their teaching styles to ensure our students can successfully pass these tests as well as be able to compete with students from all over the country. Some teachers are choosing to retire for these reasons. We can’t blame everything on student behaviors.

      SOL results for each school will be coming out soon. I bet the School Board and others will blame that on Dr. Newsome as well. Do your research people! These results will not be from the performance of one year. I challenge you to research further back and see where and when it started. We can not afford to do what we’ve always done. Change is a must and under Dr. Newsome’s leadership, we are headed in the right direction…educating and preparing ALL students.

      • Let’s blame George Bush! The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 signed into law by President Bush on Jan. 8, 2002.

        “SOL results for each school will be coming out soon. I bet the School Board and others will blame that on Dr. Newsome as well”. With less Math, Science, and English teachers and larger class sizes at the direction of the Super, who else would you blame?

        Maybe these new teachers, with no classroom experience will be the answer….

        • Lee Smallwood

          New teachers with little classroom experience are generally enthusiastic and not resistant to changing old bad policies. It sounds to me like that’s what this system very much needs.

        • Louise

          Wrong again! My point is we have to stop pointing fingers and take ownership. This includes us veteran teachers as well. I know of schools with large class sizes and they’re experiencing success. We knew class sizes would increase when the decision to close schools was made. Also, there are more than two schools in the district. We have several elementary schools, another middle and high school. Let’s stop pretending this is the first year Bonner and GW has experienced the type of problems everyone is referencing to.

      • Retired Teacher

        Thank you for your insight. As a classroom teacher for over 36 years, I considered the protection of the learning environment to be of paramount importance. Every student must have an equal opportunity to learn; therefore, I simply would not accept any disruption to the lesson. I routinely called parents, held individual conferences, made student-teacher plans for improvement, required make-up sessions for students who had wasted time, and only at the last resort sent a referral to the principal. But, when a student persisted in interrupting the lesson, he/she needed to be sent out immediately. To do otherwise was to cheat the others.

        By the way, when I retired, my students’ test scores led the grade level in their school and in their district. Positive results come from positive expectations.

      • Mary Jane

        @Louise-This is Beautifully written and said… I couldnt have said it any better myself… Dr. Newsome made changes and DPS Needed changes…we are growing in the right direction

      • Mary Jane

        ITS NOT RIGHT THE WAY YOU ALL ARE TREATING THIS MAN. ITS NOT RIGHT!!! YOU HAVENT GIVEN HIM A CHANCE! YOU DIDNT TALK DOWN TO SUE DAVIS -I DIDNT HEAR AN OUNCE OF CRITICISM! BUT THEN YOU WANT TO TAKE THIS MANS JOB AWAY AND PRETTY MUCH SIT ON HIM….NOT RIGHT NOT RIGHT. GIVE HIM A FAIR CHANCE.HE DESERVES A CHANCE. MORE THAN ONE YEAR TO FIX A DECADE PROBLEM

    • Idiyah

      May 2014 – INCORRECT. Those students paid restitution and were to complete a significant amount of community service. These children did not have any prior disciplinary infractions, hence the decision was made in regard to the future of that children.

      • idkaidc

        INCORRECT: The investigating officer wanted to file charges, but “Downtown” did not want that. It was just a prank according to “Downtown”. Property was destroyed. A CRIME was committed. Some of the items destroyed cannot be replaced. The total damages were never released and the newspaper only did part on the story.

    • ” Academically Gifted program has standards that are too high. Standards must be adjusted so “AG” can be more diverse.”

      Is this really true? I have a kid in AG and I hadn’t heard that. I know they’ll “exit” kids from AG if they underperform (as they should) but if this is true it’s ridiculous.

  • Just a random observation here not directly pointed at Ed Newsome Isn’t it a sad state that in key roles of government/education that a smooth talking, charismatic type gains power only to deliver poor results? To top it off when they let us down they can still somehow mange to negotiate a payoff for themselves. In my world (the private-sector) if you fail to deliver results you don’t get paid.

    • idkaidc

      In the private sector, I bet you expect employees to show up on time, dress appropriately, not use foul language, and follow directions. You might even expect them to be able to read and rite(sic).

  • First of all, I have worked with a lot of these children! It’s not about keeping their attention, it’s about respect. I have seen a lot of teachers looked drained and tired after a day of teaching the children. Why? I’ve witnessed total disrespect to the teachers and some even disrespect the principal. These are things that should be taught at home. Teachers are trying to do their job and teach simple things that children should have learned at home. When you are a great teacher, u go above and beyond! I’ve noticed and experienced when children are sent to the office, they either sit up there for the class period, go to an alternative class, or they have been sent back to class. The students know that there are no repercussions for what they do thus they do things knowing they won’t get in trouble. I think we do need to have stricter rules for the students. There should be workshops for the teachers/staff also to deal with different situations. Now, with that being said…I don’t know why Mr. New some is being fired but you cannot expect someone to make changes within a year, these things take time. He apparently was good enough to be hired and had great credentials! You can’t keep changing superintendents every year because what does that say about DPS? Consistency is key! SMH at this situation, too sad!!

  • Faye

    Here is something else to think about….The 300 + students that attended summer school for middle school were ALL passed….Teachers were told that if they attended- pass them, if their names were on the roll and did not attend- pass them….these are the same ones that disrupted the past school year and are now headed for GW to cause more trouble. Class sizes increasing next year and FEWER teachers! Try to instruct a class of 25-30 students (with inclusion and repeats) that have no respect for adults or any authority for that matter. I have seen them curse the police officers at school. Those one hundred thousand dollar jobs created would be better spent on hiring more teachers -just saying!

  • Selena Brandon

    In my opinion the only ppl that are hurt are our children the ppl that sit on that board are ppl that I feel don’t care I have a 5 yr old and I’m terrified my son is being raised correctly it’s the staff of Johnson school I’m concerned about I have heard bad stories but what do we do Danville as a whole is a mess and it is a race issue u have a smart black man who wants to bring change something Danville is scared of he did’nt come here to play that good boy system like many of them that sit on that board do he came with a plan I could on with a long list of things but one voice want matter as I’ve always said my people make it to the top and forget and become worse then the racists people that hide the fact that they don’t like us just use us to get where they need to be Danville get it together and know that it’s 2014

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