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Fulton Science Academy Parent Thanks Governing Board

With two children in the school, this parent thanks them for their hundreds of unpaid hours given to the school.

At a time of great adversity and challenge I would like to thank the FSA MS Governing Board from my heart for the heroic efforts you have put forward for our community, for our school, and our children.

I would like to thank you for your time and the hundreds of unpaid hours you have given selflessly to ensure that our children can continue to receive the best possible education. 

I would like to thank-you for your dedication, the sleepless nights, and willingness to do what it takes to keep our school open. 

I would like to thank you for your energy as you have given your all to make the school a success.

I would like to thank-you for your convictions and staying the course when surrender would have been easier. 

I would like to thank-you for your kindness and love; for you have done this not for personal gain but for our most precious asset – our children. 

I would like to thank-you for being the leaders that are needed for you have shown us all what makes America great --- leadership and strong moral courage in the face of impossible odds and great personal risk.

Many do not know of the challenges that the Governing Board has faced:  

The untold volunteer hours, the meals and family time missed, the holidays given up and vacations cut short to write and deliver on time the thousands of pages of documents required to respond to an unprecedented level of questions from government officials, educational bureaucrats, and the press. 

The pain you all felt when  being degraded and maligned by educational bureaucrats who believe they are superior to you, the FSA Governing Board, because for some reason Americans who are of German, Hispanic, Scottish, and Turkish heritage are inferior. 

They do not know of the endless investigations that have been conducted at the request of educational bureaucrats that are intent on finding something to hang the Governing Board because the educational bureaucrats believe that they have the right to use intimidation as a tool to get their way. 

The tears shed when government officials, educational bureaucrats, and the press have chosen to malign the school with vicious unsubstantiated statements designed to destroy your reputation and that of the school.  

Many do not know of the self-doubt that the governing board members have felt during the darkest hours when they felt abandoned and attacked from all sides by nameless, faceless educational bureaucrats  that wish to close this school and others like it because FSA has done what no other public school in the county has done --- delivered educational excellence at a lower cost.  

To all of you on the FSA Middle School Governing Board I wish to thank-you for showing the courage, strength of character, moral conviction, and love to do what is right and exemplifying what has always been the American way – to stand up to injustice, to stand for what is right and for giving selflessly to help others especially our children.

I hope that with the grace of God and the help of others that this will come to a successful conclusion and no matter what the outcome is I wanted you say thank-you for being who you are and for the dedication and love that you have shown our community, school and all of our children.

Regards,

Tom Deeb

Parent of 2 FSA Middle School Students

Sharon M. May 07, 2012 at 09:32 PM
Well said. I couldn't agree more.
Lee at rootsinalpharetta.com May 08, 2012 at 12:00 AM
"The pain you all felt when being degraded and maligned by educational bureaucrats who believe they are superior to you, the FSA Governing Board" I think this article, and this quote in particular, underscore the problem FSAMS is having. The school board (and now the state) is your boss. Like it or not, bureaucrats and all, this is how it works. Charter schools answer to a higher authority. The FSAMS is not a private school. Perhaps they need to be.
Terry May 08, 2012 at 02:26 PM
I would also like to echo the sentiments of this parent. The amount of fires they have had to put out due to inaccurate information and unsubstantiated rumors from the FCSS and now from Mr. Erste at the state level, is incredible. It is easy to make baseless claims without knowing all of the information, but countering them takes much more time and effort, and this group of leaders have spent nearly every waking moment defending a good school that deserves to serve the children of this community. As a staff member of this school, I am especially proud of what they have done to save my job here and the jobs of some 50 or so excellent educators. We owe you a great debt of gratitude. Hopefully, those who do support the school (and there are many political leaders that do) will help us win this battle soon so we can move on and continue the excellent job we've been doing. Keep fighting, we support you!
M Walker May 08, 2012 at 02:46 PM
...And this is one of the major problems with public schools. The elected officials want too much control. The purpose is to educate students. Maintaining some oversight with respect to the operations of the school, yes, however, the bureacrats want absolute power over the school. We all know about absolute power....
Nicole Baker May 08, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Excellent! Well said Tom! I know how your heart aches. I have 1 attending now and 1 looking forward to attending in the fall! Let's continue to keep our faith for ALL the children!
Scott Barber May 08, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Very Nicely stated Tom. It does seem that the government entities are losing focus on what is best for the children. If only they would stop acting like children and learn from the FSA model, instead of being afraid that they are being "shown up" by a better, more cost effective model to produce much better scoring / results. Very, very disappointing to see our elected officials act this way. Everyone please remember this in November!
Mamta D May 08, 2012 at 03:20 PM
I agree with Mr Deeb. Very well said!!! I refuse to believe all made up stories which have been going aroud to malign the school and its reputation. Our support is with FSA MS no matter what the outcome is.
Another concerned citizen May 08, 2012 at 04:39 PM
You are right, Lee. While I appreciate the willingness of the Governing Board to give of their time, they have not been competent. Reading over the state board of education documents (at https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/index.aspx?S=1262 under the Meetings tab. Select the May 10, 2012, Committee of the Whole meeting and look for the school's name under "Items for Information") it is shocking to see how FSA behaved. Refusing to be audited except on THEIR terms?! How does any publicly funded entity think they can get away with that? Once the results of the actual audit are released, it wil make for some very interesting reading. Also curious about the financial liability of members of FSA's administration and boards....
Another concerned citizen May 08, 2012 at 04:48 PM
If you look at the record, FSA's administration and boards wanted "absolute power" in this case, but some of the parents comment that FSA's administration knows best and should be left alone...? Look at the pdf titled "11c - Fulton County Audit of FSA Communications" at the https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/index.aspx?S=1262 under the Meetings tab. Select the May 10, 2012, Committee of the Whole meeting and look for the school's name under "Items for Information" and then on the pdf files. The "Fulton County Audit of FSA Communications" file shows emails that document an ongoing obstructionist attitude toward the county and state...either that or it's a shocking display of ignorance.
former FSA faithful May 08, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Mr. Deeb's wife is one of the members of FSA's failed governing board. Is this a love letter or a mother's day card? In any other business, this governing board would have been given their walking papers back in December.
tom deeb May 08, 2012 at 09:23 PM
To another concerned citizen You many not beware that FSA has had 10 external audits by Fulton County over its existence and in all cases was given a clean bill of health. No issues, no findings no nothing. Since Feb. Fulton County schools has directed an outside firm to conduct another audit. During this time an outside auditing firm has had complete access to the complete financial records and documentation electronically and in paper form and has made given access to not only to 10-years of data but private and confidential information such as social security numbers, banking, ... of staff and others including donors. In March personnel came from the auditing firm to the school. They represented themselves as Fulton County employees with Fulton County School badges. They were nervous and acting a bit odd and when asked by a parent and board member if they were Fulton County Employees they admitted that they were employees of IAG. When IAG was contacted the firm refused to confirm that said persons were employees. Based on the fact the the persons were acting nervous, could not be identified by their employer, and admitted that they were not Fulton County Employees the administration took the prudent step of asking them to leave until it could be confirmed that they we there at the direction of Fulton County. Once this was confirmed of course they were allowed to continue their audit. They delay was 1-day. So was this obstruction or good management?
tom deeb May 09, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Dear Sir, The full quotation is "The pain you all felt when being degraded and maligned by educational bureaucrats who believe they are superior to you, the FSA Governing Board, because for some reason Americans who are of German, Hispanic, Scottish, and Turkish heritage are inferior. " This refers to the numerous occasions when members of the educational system have made comments in writing and verbally that are demeaning and at best insulting. For example: "transparency is cultural" implying that because the Board in someway is not of some predefined heritage they do not understand transparency "The choice of Turkish as a second World Language is weak" -- fyi 400 million people speak Turkish and it is taught at UGA and Emory -- so why is offering a language spoken by one of the state and nations largest trading partners weak? Or is it because other languages are prefers French, Latin, German ... "The board is heavy in one demographic" Implying that race, color, creed, gender, or other areas need to be taken in to consideration when electing a board? These are only a few examples of the types of treatment that has been received -- so I guess when your boss is a County or State agency your only choice is to take because they have the ultimate power.
tom deeb May 09, 2012 at 09:08 AM
By the based on an ope records request by a parent at FSA IAG does not have a contract with Fulton County Schools yet FSA has been directed to provide confidential information to IAG by the school district. So where is the confidential information going and who is paying the bill?
Lisa Barone May 09, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Contrary to the letter writer's opinion, the board of Fulton Science Academy is not heroic and few people care how hard they work. What people care about are results. The FSA board is no longer effective and is now contributing to the demise of a great academic institution due to their mismanagement of governance and regulatory inflexibility. Certainly, the County and State regulators have also contributed to this sad situation. However, until this board is replaced with new members who have no appearance of interest conflicts there is little hope for a State charter. If it's not too late to save the school the current board should put their personal interests aside and resign their positions for the sake of the children, teachers, staff, administration and community.
tom deeb May 09, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Dear Lisa, If the board were to resign who would take their place. Would you be willing to commit 100% to the effort to keep the school open. Would take the personal time to do what it takes. Will you be willing to put in the hundreds of hours needed to make this a success. Would you be willing to skip meals, vacations, holidays, weekends and family time. Would you be willing to stand for our children, staff, administration, and community? If the board resigns do you really think that would be the silver bullet that make the State Board of Education and Fulton County Schools really want to support charter schools? For ten years volunteer board members have been on the board putting the time and energy in to make the school what it is today. They have stepped up to the plate and when the chips were down they continued to deliver. They have been caught in a political dog fight between what our elected officials want which is to give all parents the opportunity to choose what school they want to send their kids to and the educational establishment which wants to be the only school system around. FSA is not the only school caught in this but it is the focal point because of it succeeds change is in the air for schools across the state.
Concerned Parent May 09, 2012 at 02:24 PM
I am sad to see this fine school as possibly not being an option for students in our county school system next year. I have had a child go through Elkins Point MS and FSA MS and the difference has been profound. This is the little school that could! I think that as we spend more and more tax dollars per student and get less results from that system. It becomes apparent that our Government Educational System as a whole needs to be accessed very careful and find the reason that the FSA model has worked so well. I am a happy FSA MS parent and will always be grateful to them for a wonderful Middle School Educational Experience for my daughter!
MarkMunoz May 11, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Tom Deeb appears on Topix talking about this closed school Fulton Science Academy and the name of his country he e mails from show up as Azerbaijan. He is not American and is part of the Turkic controlled Gulen Movement (although majority of Azerbaijanis want Gulen out of their country) http://www.gulenschoolsworldwide.blogspot.com Make sure you watch "60 minutes" this Sunday May 13, 2012 they will be doing a segment on the Gulen "inspired" charter schools. This isn't the first Gulen operated charter school to close in the USA and will not be the last. Here is a preview for the show. Sorry you dumb Americans have been snow jobbed, surely you noticed how when you ask a direct question to this group you never get a direct answer. They are taught to be skillful liars: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l24bCOKXg08
MarkMunoz May 11, 2012 at 07:33 PM
The Gulenists are loading comments here back and forth to themselves to create more friction and doubt. Here is the problem for them. THis will not save the school and the other Gulen "inspired" charter schools that are under investigation. Russia, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan have already thrown you out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l24bCOKXg08
tom deeb May 11, 2012 at 08:21 PM
To Mark or whoever you are you need to get your facts straight I am a proud American who works for the US Government on behalf of all Americans. So yes I am in Azerbaijan, yes I am a real American and have worked to promote America and American values in over 25 countries. One of the values is freedom of speech and one I cherish -- but some days I wonder So get the facts before you speak hatred for you have no idea what hatred can do. Get the facts Jack --- because you are clueless
Roswell Parent May 14, 2012 at 12:23 AM
Mark - I must have watched the wrong '60 Minutes' report. Unless I'm supposed to be afraid that good education is coming to America. http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7408162n&tag=contentMain;cbsCarousel The decision to close Fulton Science Academy was a tragedy due to misunderstanding at best, racism at worst. The losers are the 500 students and 500 on the waiting list. The good news is there are a lot of North Fulton parents who are going to be much more politically involved in the future to make sure their voice is heard at the Fulton County School Board, GA Dept of Education and our state legislature.
MarkMunoz June 29, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Loan recalled School to cease being a charter tomorrow 6/30 School loyalist hire attorneys and a private consultation firm to fight audit findings School to attempt private school status at what location? who knows? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v49_mQ15h04

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