Friday, September 17, 2010

Where The High School Students Are


Some of you may be too young to remember Connie Francis singing this song but I thought about it as I reviewed the latest data posted by the DCSS Planning Department. A play on the name of this song, “Where the High School Students Are” is the latest informative report to help citizens understand student mobility in our high schools. Interesting things to note:

• Lithonia and ML King, Jr. send more students to other schools than Avondale and Chamblee each have in their attendance zones.
• Arabia Mountain is providing relief to Lithonia and ML King, Jr. but more could be done if it were made into a neighborhood school with an attendance zone. Perhaps that could also help save expansion costs at several schools.
• Lakeside sends more students to Chamblee than any other in the district.
• Other than schools with choice or magnet programs, Druid Hills is the only school with students from every neighborhood high school.

It would be interesting to know the grade level breakdown of the students at the receiving schools along with the type of transfer they are (Admin, AYP, Choice, other). It would also be nice if this type of data could be provide for the past 3-4 years to determine any trends (realistically this may be challenging to provide).

Several have discussed closing the Avondale and Chamblee clusters as neighborhood clusters, based on the initial data provided. Ironically, Chamblee was scheduled for closure in the early 1990’s until the magnet program arrived. This would allow the district to repurpose Avondale as a ‘magnet’ cluster in the middle of the county by relocating and housing all the high achievers programs with DESA and DSA. Perhaps the Chamblee/Cross Keys cluster could be housed at the Cross Keys site or build a new comprehensive high school for 2000-2200 students in either the Buford Highway or Peachtree corridor.

This would be just one piece of the complicated puzzle of school closure, consolidation, redistricting, and repurposing. The district also needs to look at all small elementary schools that are in close proximity to one another and determine if they can be consolidated into a larger facility ala McNair Discovery Academy. This could both reduce the number of building while providing newer facilities capable of handling today’s electrical and HVAC demands. Making them LEED certified should be a goal for all new buildings in the district.

Yes we are talking about buildings but at the end of the day, the focus should be on ensuring we provide safe and healthy learning environments for our students. All of this will be moot if we cannot improve student performance. Given the dwindling revenues from our tax base, suggestions like above can help us spend less on maintaining buildings and more on instruction.

101 comments:

Cerebration said...

A post worth waiting for! Thanks, psc. I want to make a special note. We do offer a few alternative pathways through high school (which I am a very big believer in) - one of which is the Gateway to College. It's not a very well-known or well-promoted path, but it is awesome. The idea is to capture "at-risk" students as they finish their junior year (I think) and get them into this program hosted at GA Perimeter's Clarkston Campus. Students make a 2 year commitment and end the program not only with a high school diploma, but an associates degree!

Go here for more info:

http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/schools/centers/collegegateway/index.html

http://www.gpc.edu/~gpcgway/

Scott H. said...

I appreciate the thoroughness with which you cover DeKalb. It's a great public service. I have but one constructive suggestion and you've probably heard it before.

Your contributors need to use their real names. It can be hard to believe what "Sagamore7" and "fedupindcss" report. If you want to be taken seriously, and if you want the legitimacy of your site to reach the next level, sources have to give their names or you will always be just "that DeKalb blog" rather than a truly trusted source of information. Anybody can post anonymously, but trusted sources will put their names on the information they deliver.

Food for thought. Keep up the good work.

Scott Hartman
scotthartman6@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Scott,
Your idea using real names is great! However, there are several of us here who have been silenced by the old Clew regime. Silenced to the point that we were threatened with arrest by Central Office staffers.
I'm here for the truth and I speak the truth and when I find out I might have given out bad info, I correct it and get it out as soon as I can.
My wife and I have relationships with others on this blog, like Sandy Spruill, Cere, Kim Gocke, Dunwoody Mom and others. We want what is best for OUR kids. However, we feel we must stay anonymous, in this atmosphere, for our kids. We're really involved at our school and want to keep it that way. Once the old leadership, Clew's cabinet(I hate using that term), is gone from DCSS, I look forward to using my real name! Plus, there are DCSS staffers/teachers that weigh in here and I for one can tell you the reprisals that they would face if they used their real names.
It's sad that a public entity can be so threatening with their own stakeholders, but when it involves millions of dollars and their integrity, they will stoop to the lowest depths to get even. Remember, a lot of the DCSS leadership really don't care about the students and their success, they worry about the money. One can look at Tyson's comments at ELPC, she had to be asked about student achievement. Dr. Walker asking for more expense money so he can go out to lunch more often. Was it SCW or Zepora that refused to take a pay cut this spring? On and on and on. That green back can be pretty powerful and when that money is threatened to disappear some will go to great lengths to keep the money pipe flowing.

themommy said...

I love the Druid Hills observation I wonder if those students are IB or there through administrative transfers?

Dunwoody Mom said...

That might a logical next step in the information provided. How many students are in IB programs, Magnet Programs, Charter Transfers, etc.,

btw, I have never intentionally withheld my "real" name. It was just a name I came up with a while back. People have sent me emails asking if I would give my name and I have answered truthfully. I have also "outed" myself with people in my community.

Anonymous said...

The matrix of sending and receiving schools is very interesting. I would like to see a break down of those "out of county" students. How many are students attending a school where their parent works and how many are children of central office employees? There are 9 out of county students listed as attending "Gwinnett-Newton-Rockdale Residen." What is this and why are we providing this service for students who don't live in DeKalb?

Anonymous said...

post my real name? not gonna happen; i'm a dekalb teacher and there are too many vindictive administrators; unfortunately dekalb big shots have free reign to abuse teachers as it is. in fact, today i received walk-through evaluations from all of my administrators objecting to my Instructional Bulletin Board deficiencies; most of the complains came from the principal, a man who was a coach before making the leap ($) to administration. How he became a master teacher of my field is anyone's guess. and yet, the paper piles up because of our status as an NI5 school; can't they do something that will really impact the quality of the school and not just run around with clipboards looking busy to justify their jobs and salaries? with these nazi-ish behaviors being the norm, there's no way i would give my real name on here. i need my job.

Anonymous said...

And for the out of county students that are "family", how is it that nephews and nieces, cousins and grandchildren not living with their grandparents meet the "family" definition? I think that Dunwoody and Chamblee clusters have a few of these so called "family" members of administrators?

Dekalbparent said...

I have been told that the current IB class at Druid Hills is smaller than prior classes, so I can probably state that not all of the students from other schools are there for IB.

Anonymous said...

I feel for you Anon 12:39 and am sorry that you were put through that today.

Too many of our administrators do not know/understand what they are in charge of. Teaching business in middle school or high school does not prepare you to understand what happen in an elementary school. Being a gym teacher (coach) does not help you to understand how students develop reading and math skills or what happens in a biology lab.

We have too many administrators with little teaching experience, teaching experience that does not help them to understand a quality education and/or degrees from questionable places.

The only way for a new superintendent to make the changes necessary to improve DCSS, is to have the power to fire everyone and begin again. We are embedded with too many questionable decision makers at every level of the district.

Our teachers are our greatest asset and are treated with little dignity or respect-unless you know someone and are in the wings to be fast tracked for more money.

Anonymous said...

I wish for once a thread would stay on-topic.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 2:09
Do you it's right that DCSS leadership silences stakeholders and teachers with threats because of free speech of others?

Scott, from earlier, expressed an opinion about placing names here at the blog and several of us explained to him what could happen if we did.

Would you like to give your real name? I'm just saying..

If Cere, believes we get too far off topic, she deletes items or starts another thread.

I'm here to discuss the thread as well as other topics as they come up. This is a great spot for that! We don't thank Cere enough, if you ask me.

Dunwoody Mom said...

I agree with anonymous 0209. This post pscesxb put together is an important one that needs some serious discussion. Redistricting and school consolidation and closures are going to be a hot opic over the next months. I think, we as the stakeholders, may be able to come up with some ideas that DCSS and the BOE could find helpful.

I am afraid that the conversation on this topic is going to bogged down with conversation that is irrelevant to this post - which is an important one.

Maybe Cere can put up a post just for teachers to vent???

Anonymous said...

Will the consolidation efforts take into consideration current clusters that are effectively existing? Or will they tear them apart even if they are working. It seems that most of the comments on this blog revolve around the overcrowding of northern schools and underutilied southern schools. There are schools that seem to be functioning reasonably. Will these be changed? Will they consider current configuration - such IB clusters - in their considerations, for example? I'd like to know how these things weigh in.

I would also like to know the current plans for releasing information. I've said this before...people who are not content with a rezoning into a different school should be warned with plenty of time that they can attempt to move if caught in this process. Given the current economic situation, I hope that they give more than 2-3 months notice, as was their intent last year on this same topic. Anyone have any insights to this?

I work full time so making the council meetings, etc., that one obviously must make to be informed is not possible.

Thanks Cerebration for providing some of this information publically.

M G said...

Ms. Tyson stated at the ODE Meeting last night that there would be input from the community before any decisions were made. She indicated the timeline would be for the board to vote on consolidation and redistricting in February.

Anonymous said...

@MG. SO the vote would be in Feb. AFTER community comments. That's really still pretty short. Sell a house these days in 5 months?

Are other elements of the timeline available?

Again, sorry to ask these questions here....but these meetings are not held when 2-parent working families can attend.

Anonymous said...

Dunwoody Mom, I guess teachers aren't important to you? Look, these numbers and this post is very important and PSC did a great job putting this together.

Let's not lose our teachers in this discussion. A couple of people expressed their opinions on using our real names on this blog and why it's not going to happen.

You said, "I am afraid that the conversation on this topic is going to bogged down with conversation that is irrelevant to this post - which is an important one."

If you feel that way, go ahead and start a conversation on your blog. You have a good one, a little Dunwoody-centric, but very useful for your community.

However, we can talk all we want about this, but without support from the BOE and our lousy DCSS leadership, we can talk all we want but nothing is going to change. We must work with Dan Drake. He has an ear out for us, the springtime committee helped him understand that the way things have been done must be changed.

November 2nd is going to be a big day and will set up if the BOE will listen to the stakeholders or if it will be business as usual.

Redistricting and consolidation will most likely break up some current clusters and this so-called "center county" magnet school at Avondale, has it's pluses and minuses.

I honestly don't think we're going to get bogged down here, this conversation is going to be a long one and involve a lot of information. I can guarantee you there are anonymous people at the Central Office who will try and hijack this thread every chance they get and they'll also try to pit us all against each other to. I promise you there are people on the DCSS payroll that have been assigned to watch these blogs and pass on anything to the leadership.

Let's get on with the discussion.

I'm surprised there are so many Lakeside kids at Chamblee, I also wonder how many Dunwoody kids are there too. We have a lot at Chamblee Middle. Will the Lakeside kids go to Avondale if they do move the magnet? Will the Chamblee residents , once it loses AYP, go to Avondale? There is a discussion right now amongst Chamblee parents about that very subject. They know that they could lose AYP as soon as the magnet program is moved.

Anonymous said...

FYI, the response to the SACS inquiry was posted on the DCSS website today.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the numbers. As mentioned in another thread, Lakeside has 239 students transferring in and 185 transferring out for a net gain of 54 students. So what explains the grossly overcrowded conditions?

Anonymous said...

"They know that they could lose AYP as soon as the magnet program is moved.

September 17, 2010 3:36 PM"

Is there talk of moving the magnet program from CHS????

pscexb said...

Anonymous 3:36 said,

I'm surprised there are so many Lakeside kids at Chamblee, I also wonder how many Dunwoody kids are there too. We have a lot at Chamblee Middle. Will the Lakeside kids go to Avondale if they do move the magnet? Will the Chamblee residents , once it loses AYP, go to Avondale? There is a discussion right now amongst Chamblee parents about that very subject. They know that they could lose AYP as soon as the magnet program is moved.

All very good questions!!! The same applies to the questions Dunwoody Mom asked at 11:09. This is what should happen, the data should help us to ask more insightful questions to help with formulating sound recommendations.

At this time, the post reflects the recommendations of this blogger, simply based on the data. Is this enough data to make that leap? What impact with this have on housing patterns and pricing? Is this instructionally sound? That's what I hope will happen, we ask more questions, make counter recommendations, question the data, and run ideas by other people. If we understand the data that the Central Office is reviewing to make their recommendations, it could take the conversations to a higher level when the community meetings occur.

I undestand the Planning Department will also develop a matrix showing where the MS children are. It will be interesting to see this for ESs.

Will the McNair Discovery Academy building model work for Laurel Ridge, McLendon, and Medlock? What impact would a possible City of Decatur annexation have on this?

How about Sky Haven, Gresham Park, Meadowview, Clifton, and Flat Shoals? Perhaps in this case, could 5 schools be consolidated into 2?

Would it make sense to add a 12 classroom wing at an existing ES or build a new school after consolidating others? How big would we want our ESs to be?

What about the Shallowford ES site? If the Chamblee cluster is closed, could this be used as either a 6th or 9th grade academy? Chamblee MS is new so would we keep Sequoyah as a MS also. Being a former HS, it has some advantages but is is in poor condition.

Let's hear your thoughts.....

Cerebration said...

All great questions, psc. I'm just happy to see data at all! This is an amazing starting point, since in the past, I had always "assumed" that DCSS had all of this data, but were choosing not to share it. Now that we have it, we have discovered that this is all information that we just never had before - no one in the past had dug up these kinds of detailed numbers. Thanks Dan Drake!

Cerebration said...

For those who think we can't veer "off topic" I say, teachers are always on topic! And to Scott, who thinks we would have more credibility if we used our real names - well, maybe - but I'm not all that concerned about credibility or being "believed" because most of the information we post here is accompanied by links to the supporting data and documents. We fully expect our readers to check it out for themselves, form their own opinions and come back and leave comments. After all, that's what a blog is for. We have the AJC to do "real" reporting and they do a fine job (AND they get PAID!). No one here has press credentials, nor do we have a budget with which to pay for Freedom of Information requests (you may not realize that you have to pay for the copies PLUS an hourly rate for someone to get the info and make those copies$$$!) So, there's no actual need to take this blog to any kind of "next level" - I have another life and a business and have no desire to become a credentialed reporter. In fact, the main reason I don't use my name is that I don't want anyone interested in my professional services to "Google" me and find all kinds of DeKalb school stuff. I want them to find my work. And all of that aside, it's not really about "me" anyway. I could be anyone - as this is America and in this wonderful age of the internet - the people speak!

Anonymous said...

It is unfathomable that this Board of Education and Central Office built an incredible, energy saving, high air quality LEED certified school at Arabia Mountain, and di use it as a template for all new DCSS schools.

Was it just a publicity stunt? Why isn't the new Tucker High LEED certified?

The BOE says we are just whiners on this blog, but the reality is that the Central Office fails students/parents/teachers/taxpayers time and time again.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, should be:
"and did not use it as a template for all new DCSS schools"

Anonymous said...

Psc, When you say Chamblee cluster closed, do you mean the magnet cluster of Kittredge, CMS and CCHS? Please tell me there is not a discussion of closing CMS and CCHS. Why would we close two very successful schools? Where would the 700 CCHS students go?

Couldn't CCHS offer more students the ability of joining the Charter School? Plus, I know CMS is talking charter too, maybe this will expedite that process as well! I can't believe Chamblee parents will settle for closing the cluster. .

I do like the idea of a new school with a combo of Cross Keys and Chamblee residents.

Anonymous said...

The number of kids going to a school other that in their attendance zone is simply astounding. Shocking really.

A good starting point for the board would be to make a policy that puts some constraints around the magnet program in general and get it in control.

Then it would be helpful if they had a policy that clearly defined acceptable reasons for administrative transfers, which it just seems there are too many of these days. Other than a transfer for a child's safety, I'm hard pressed to come up with another necessity. Maybe this policy already exists, or it's not a "policy" but an "administrative rule" -- either way it doesn't seem to be followed.

C?Y!

Debora said...

"I'm surprised there are so many Lakeside kids at Chamblee..."

Actually the number 75 is about what one would expect. I was surprised, too, until I thought about the numbers. Lakeside has 6-1/2 feeder elementary schools. The last time I attended the magnet lottery, each elementary got Kittredge slots for 3 rising 4th graders plus any who might be drawn from the at-large pool. That's 18+ students from the Lakeside area entering Kittredge as 4th graders each year, which would account for 72+ students in the 4 grades of high school. A few leave the magnet program in middle or high school, and a few others enter it.

Does anyone know how DSA's move to Avondale affected the pool of students who attend it?

pscexb said...

Anonymous 5:22 asks,

Psc, When you say Chamblee cluster closed, do you mean the magnet cluster of Kittredge, CMS and CCHS? Please tell me there is not a discussion of closing CMS and CCHS. Why would we close two very successful schools? Where would the 700 CCHS students go?

I've heard at least one Board member openly discuss centralizing the high achievers magnet program to one location. Take a look at the enrollment numbers for Wadsworth and project the number of those students you believe attend Chapel Hill MS and SW DeKalb. When you also factor in the relief that would be provided to that HS cluster of available seats, it makes sense. Leaving the high achievers magnet in the Chamblee cluster would probably cause quite a bit of 'conversation', specifically with respect to access. Centralizing both programs into one location makes sense.

This program belongs to all of DeKalb not just the Chamblee community. This program extended Chamblee HS 20 additional years and has done well. I believe this program would be as successful, if not more in the Avondale cluster because now those resources would be in one location.

Looking at the numbers provided by the Planning Department, approximately 1700 high school students would be in the Chamblee/Cross Keys corridor. A facility holding about 2200 students that would also have a 'heavy tech' program would be great! This school could be called Brookhaven/Chamblee/Cross Keys/North DeKalb HS, based on where it is ultimately located and feedback from the community.

pscexb said...

Debora asks,

Does anyone know how DSA's move to Avondale affected the pool of students who attend it?

Looking at the population data for DSA for the past 10 years, it has been on an upward trend and seems to have stabilized around 285. Not sure if that is based on the number of students that can be effectively taught or an artificial limit set for the school. It would be interested to know the total pool size of applicants for this school and the trends over the years.

Anonymous said...

If Arabia Mountain can be made a "receiving school" despite having a specialized curriculum and specialized requirements, why is DSA alwasy untouched? Why isn't DSA a receiving school?

Cerebration said...

I don't know the answer to that one - good question. I do know that DSA has wanted to grow much larger for a long time, but they have felt hampered by the administration.

Anonymous said...

Chamblee is a charter school, the current charter goes through 2014, and there is a very strong interest in the Chamblee community in renewing the charter. I wonder if the DCSS can ignore the Charter and combine CCHS with Cross Keys.

Anonymous said...

PSC, Thanks for the info. I already believe the magnet will be moved to Avondale, I'm hearing the same thing you are on that one. Avondale is not quite as convenient to I-285 like CCHS.

I can't imagine them closing Chamblee Middle School. The battles we had, even before we had kids, to get that built and our oldest is now in 6th grade and loves it. We're less than a mile from the school. I know several who will fight hard to keep that school open. CCHS will also be interesting, I'm all for combining Cross Keys and Chamblee and making the current Cross Keys a Technical School. The north part of the county could benefit with something like that. I just hope folks are looking at parcels to buy for a larger school.

One idea I had was to buy Chamblee Plaza, make that the Athletic Complex, new stadium, baseball fields and parking. Then you can take the current CCHS athletic fields and build a new High School there and once that is finished tear down the old building and build a state of the art auditorium. This would enable the county to keep the kids in the same location until construction is finished.

This should be a fun holiday season again. I remember our battle to keep Nancy Creek open, all the meetings took place around the holidays. Should be fun!

Anonymous said...

@ Dunwoody Mom
"Maybe Cere can put up a post just for teachers to vent???'

Personally, I'm happy to hear any teacher voice on any thread on this blog. I really appreciate their input. If you want the real deal, ask the teachers.

Anonymous said...

Lets talk for a moment about why 750+ students might want to leave Lithonia and MLK.

First, it is a good thing that most have this many students elsewhere as MLK is already a couple of hundred students over capacity and Lithonia is a hundred or so over capacity.

However, the two schools are sending more students combined to other DCSS high schools than the average size of a DCSS high school.

Only 30-40 percent of the students who leave LHS and MLK are at Arabia. What is so wrong with those schools that another 350 plus students from each of those schools are at every non-alternative high school in DeKalb?

This is where the conversation needs to begin. And it needs to start now, before redistricting plans are addressed and announced.

Anonymous said...

"...sources have to give their names or you will always be just "that DeKalb blog" rather than a truly trusted source of information."

Sorry, but a blog will always be just a blog of informal discussion. Using a true identity will not give this more credibility than a blog, nor will it make the information discussed more or less accurate than it already is. That is the nature of an informal discussion.

An author might post source documents that are accurate and published via public vehicles, but individual bloggers may or may not be factually correct in their opinions, regardless of whether they use their real names, but it is a valid, interactive discussion nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

"Lets talk for a moment about why 750+ students might want to leave Lithonia and MLK. "

Great question. And MLK has an IB program, and kids are still leaving in droves.

Anonymous said...

Funny thing happened at Waffle House just one hour ago today (Saturday 9:00AM):

An owner (Joe Rodgers) and a district manager (Aaron Dupree) were busily working as waiters at Waffle House. I observed them for 90 minutes.

The two did not have a clipboard and they were not looking at the wall postings. The regular waiters were really business- as-usual---I eat at that Waffle House almost every Saturday.

Instead Joe and Aaron had wet rags with which they cleaned tables; and they took customers' orders, called out orders to the short order cook, served. Joe, trying to help the cook, dropped a waffle mold on the floor and looked a bit embarrassed by it. The regular staff took no notice.

How did I know they were not regular workers? Joe's 50-dollar comb-over and his 300-dollar loafers!

Morcease Beasley and Educational coaches: are you listening? You don't have to be perfect (Joe was not) but you need to walk the walk before you talk the talk otherwise you are just BS artists and charlatans!

Signed by a teacher.

Anonymous said...

"Only 30-40 percent of the students who leave LHS and MLK are at Arabia. What is so wrong with those schools that another 350 plus students from each of those schools are at every non-alternative high school in DeKalb?"

This is a really good question. Something I have wondered for a long time. Why put your child in a situation where they must commute 30 to 45 minutes each way when there are other school options close to home? What is the situation at Arabia? I am given the impression from this blog that Arabia is a desirable school. So, why travel?

Anonymous said...

What I don't get from this discussion about redistricting is that some bloggers are convinced that, if their school attendance area is changed that the change will be negative. They will have to sell their house and move. Yes, neighborhoods may find themselves in a different school, but that school they are moved to will change, hopefully for the better, because they are there. As individuals we are effective advocates for change. A group of individuals commands a certain amount of power. When we work together we can affect positive changes in our schools.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 10:42

"I am given the impression from this blog that Arabia is a desirable school. So, why travel? "

Perhaps Arabia didn't accept all the LHS and MLK students that applied. I believe you have to qualify to get into Arabia.

Anonymous said...

To the previous blogger about a new school district. Indeed things should be better anywhere we are placed. However, why should I settle for a mediocre school? Will my children make a difference, they should. They are both principal honor roll students, high achievers, accelerated math students, all without the help of a magnet program. We're happy!

Now we have people wanting to tear down our school, turn our Middle School into some kind of 9th grade academy, whatever that means and I'm suppose to sit here and take it?

No, we fought to get a new middle school built, before our kids were even born? We were threatened, our unborn kids were threatened and now they want to close a successful school in a new building because our attendance zone will currently not fill our school to capacity. We've been screaming for years to redistrict and consolidate, but all the BOE reps have done is call me and my wife racist.

Gwinnett redraws lines every 3 to 5 years, DCSS has not in 30? (Except for that little one 3 years ago, which was all for show)

We, as taxpayers, have seen the graft, fraud and embezzlement of OUR tax dollars for the past 5 years and it's time for the folks who have been watching over that annual 1.2 billion dollars to step aside and let a new fresh bunch, with no ties to DCSS, take over and fix our ailing system.

If it means I have to go to a new school, fine! However, that new school should have a principal and teachers whose main goal is to educate our kids, not promote or buys their own books with OUR tax money or work to get themselves into a cushy job at the Palace.

I'm fighting for my kids to get a good education. If private was an option for us, believe me, I would take it. I moved into my current neighborhood because the schools in our area are great!

Why is it DCSS always seems to hate success and celebrate mediocrity?

Anonymous said...

Morcease Beasley and and the incredibly overpaid Educational coaches should all be made to teach a few days each year as sub's. No other one single thing would benefit the school system more (not county SCW and Zepora losing this fall).

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:39: I'm not sure that would be fair to the students. I've met at least one educational coach who, in all seriousness, would not be able to pass my class, let alone teach it.

Anonymous said...

Asking coaches and system administrators to spend some time in our classrooms actually teaching is a really good idea. It will put them in touch with what happens in the classroom and will help them to see how well their instructional programs are working. If every certified administrative employee spent one day a month working in a classroom as a substitute, the county would save some money.

Anonymous said...

As an MLK parent, there are several reasons kids are transferring out, I would say the biggest is the fact that they haven't made AYP--not enough kids scoring high enough on the Math test and every year it seems the 9th graders are failing way too many classes first semester--particularly, MATH 1. Perception is everything to many parents wanting a good education for their child, and for some not making AYP is a key component.

The IB program is ok, but pretty weak when compared with others such as North Atlanta. There are many, many kids that do very well at MLK. However, I'm not sure they are as prepared for college when they graduate. But I think that can be said across the board in DCSS. We have many that are graduating with honors, that are still having to take remedial classes when they get to college.

Anonymous said...

Usually Education Coaches are your best teachers. Their job is to help teachers, observe needs, and help out where they can-with teachers and children. Their job isn't supposed to require more work and they aren't supposed to be administrators. They are simply there to work with teachers on a particular need or focus.

Our coaches make more money that a a DCSS teacher (not usually the case in other places for this type of job) and give teachers more work-something that they do not need.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymlous 5:37 pm

"Usually Education Coaches are your best teachers. Their job is to help teachers, observe needs, and help out where they can-with teachers and children."

Education Coaches usually model lessons for teachers as well. Demonstrating by teaching a lesson while a teacher observes an Instructional Coach is extremely beneficial. Instructional Coaches should be modeling lessons every day for teachers. I'm shocked that DCSS Instructional Coaches don't do that.

Dr. Beasley and Dr. Berry, their direct supervisor, need to be meeting with teachers to ensure that the Instructional Coaches program is meeting the needs of the classroom. Judging from last year's test scores, student needs in Title 1 schools are not being met.

Anonymous said...

Instructional Coaches are supposed to serving students and teachers. Look at this website as to the duties of the Instructional coaches:
http://www.instructionalcoach.org/about.html

What are these 80 Instructional Coaches that cost DCSS $8,000,000 in salary and benefits doing for students and teachers? $8,000,000 equates to the salary and benefits of 156 teachers with 3 years of experience that we are NOT putting in our classrooms to directly instruct struggling students in order to pay for these non-teaching employees.

I certainly hope this program isn't part of the DCSS "Friends and Family Plan".

pscexb said...

@Anonymous 7:19, great link but I think the your questions is answered as you drill down further. Instructional Coaches are one of the allowable strategies per NCLB/ESEA.

The link below provides more insight to this. Look specifically at Section 1115(c)(1)(F). Warning, this can be a snoozer but does shed insight:

http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/pg2.html#sec1115

No Duh said...

Anon Sept 17 5:38 siad: "Then it would be helpful if they had a policy that clearly defined acceptable reasons for administrative transfers, which it just seems there are too many of these days. Other than a transfer for a child's safety, I'm hard pressed to come up with another necessity. Maybe this policy already exists, or it's not a "policy" but an "administrative rule" -- either way it doesn't seem to be followed."

Two years ago Jim Redovian promised me he was working on a true "Board Policy" -- not rule, as you point out -- and hoped to get the whole Board's approval on it. It has never seen the light of day. I suspect he started work on it and hit a brick wall. But, I think he had the policy committee working on it. And I know he thought he had the votes to get it passed. It just went into the black hole that is DCSS.

I said months ago on this blog that I think one of the criteria for evaluating Principals should include an accounting of the number of parents requesting administrative transfers OUT of a principal's school. It could also(as a form of praise) include an accounting of the number of parents requesting INTO a school, as well.

Anonymous said...

anon@11:02 I'm one who would move depending on what school I was rezoned into. I do find it unacceptable that programming is so different across schools, even though I recognize that it is in part because of the composition of students. If all schools were programmatically equal, then it would not be an issue and I wouldn't potentially move. However, I am unwilling to play dice with my children's lives. While your admonition that we could get involved in this "new" school to make positive changes is admirable, I am well aware that both programmatic and student acheivement gap differences across schools can significantly impact a child's education. Our current zoning puts us in a cluster that can meet our child's needs (with concerns about even this given the current administration); the school which didn't exist several years ago does not look so great at this point, and I am pessimistic that it can do the same. Indeed, given the current conditions of education in this county, we already are considering options to get out. So yes, I would move, and I wouldn't look back.

Anonymous said...

Redovian did work on it and got nowhere. There are many board members who benefit from their constituents having choices. Jay Cunningham struggles mightily with his loyalty to Lithonia High School and MLK and the pressures from Arabia Mt. parents who live in his district.

Redovian asked for an inventory of where central office employees' children are in school if they are not attending their home schools. After the meeting, he was advised that it was a violation of students' privacy rights to disclose such information.

While there certainly is the occasional need for an admin. transfer, I suspect that we have far to many of them now.

Administrative transfers should not be given just because you don't like your home school, in my opinion.

No Duh said...

Anon 11:02 said: "What I don't get from this discussion about redistricting is that some bloggers are convinced that, if their school attendance area is changed that the change will be negative."

I agree. In some cases it could be a bad thing, but if a large enough group of involved, active families is redistricted into another school, they will have a political advantage to request improvements (additional AP classes, administrative changes, etc.). These requests could not only improve that school, but ensure their incoming children will have the services they are used to.

We bought our house 10 years ago to get into the Evansdale district (we were already in the Lakeside feeder pattern). Things have changed dramatically since then (LHS is on its fourth principal, for instance, and the building is 10 years older than it used to be without significant improvement!). Don't get me wrong. We want our children to go to LHS. We don't welcome the thought of being redistricted, but as communities begin to digest the redistricting plan that IS GOING TO BE PRESENTED, we need to ask ourselves if "Hell no, we won't go" will be an effective strategy to ensure all children in DCSS have a fair shake at a decent education.

I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

"Redovian asked for an inventory of where central office employees' children are in school if they are not attending their home schools. After the meeting, he was advised that it was a violation of students' privacy rights to disclose such information. '

Student names should not be disclosed. However, Central Office employee's children should not be treated any differently than other students. Picking your child's school just because you work in the Central Office should end. Central Office employees should not be given preference over ordinary citizens in DeKalb County. That's something that the BOE can vote on that would please every citizen and voter I know.

Anonymous said...

Those who think that there is no or only very limited reasons for transfers out of their home schools clearly are at schools that are meeting their children's needs. Perhaps you should expand your experiences and recognize that not all schools in this district are programmatically equal. Indeed, even composition of a school can impact a child's progression. Imagine having a high acheiver in a school with fewer than 5% of peers identified as high acheivers. Part of continued success is the challenge provided by peers. Is this child getting what s/he needs in this setting? Particularly if it is a pull out program? Why should a child in one school have access to a foreign language while 2 miles away a student does not? Seriously, you all simply don't get the differences and are utterly crazy if you think that one set of parents can change this situation. Indeed, have full turnouts changed the current directions taken by the BOE? Why do you think that it is any different at the school level? If yours is one of 25 high acheiver children spread across 5 grades, do you really think that the school is going to provide advanced classes and peer challenges necessary for that child's success? Are they financially (e.g., points) capable of providing what such a child needs in this setting? From what I read here, you'd rather this child languish.

GIna said...

Our neighborhood will not be redistricted. However, I can really see why losing your control and choice in education decisions for your child could be very distressing. It is very easy to slam the people who transfer their children or do not want to be redistricted when it is not happening to you and your home school is acceptable. Tell me what would you do if you could not move and your home school was unacceptable or you are to be redistricted and that school will be unacceptable. There are far to many unacceptable schools in DCSS and throwing people out of the good schools should not be the answer.

Anonymous said...

@ Gina, Thank you. I appreciate your comments...I think that you are in the minority of understanding the plight of many individuals, and your understanding is appreciated!

Anonymous said...

Back to Beasley and our incredibly unproductive Instructional Coaches. One of the reasons that the City of Decatur school system is so strong is that every principal has to sit in one class per day. It gives the principals a much better appreciation for his/her teaching staff, and better awareness of what their teachers, students and parents need to succeed.

Our Instructional Coaches comes to our classrooms to look at the bulletin boards. I don't think more than 30% of them would last a week back in the classroom, Beaseley included.

80 Instructional Coaches that cost DCSS $8,000,000 in salary, bene's and pension??

That's the easiest budget cut in DCSS history!

Cerebration said...

I think the misunderstanding is in the fact that no one blames parents for pulling their child out of a poorly performing school - but to cause another school serious crowding as more and more transfer students come is not fair to the receiving school nor is it fair to the students "left behind" at the sending school. Sadly, our administration has used this method to satisfy the squeaky wheels, without ever doing any of the work to improve the school the squeaky wheel complained about. (And, I have to add, I don't see many squeaky wheels working to improve those neighborhood schools they left behind.)

This idea that allowing those who have the ability to ask for and deal with a transfer to a new school is not a good long-term solution for anyone involved.

Kim Gokce said...

This thread has gotten to the heart of the matter: Should district planning be driven by individual (immediate) needs or community (long-term) needs?

The truth is that it appears to always be a combination of both. Individuals in the system have votes today so status quo always has an advantage. I think this is the "Achilles Heel" of DeKalb planning. The future does not have a vote.

Because our system is a political entity and subject to the politics of factions decisions go one way or the other based on factional strengths and weaknesses. The future is the weakest faction in DeKalb.

The ultimate question for me is: How can we force a system built on factionalism to make planning decisions in the interest of all County taxpayers (even those with no children) and all our children?

When I use the term "all," I do not mean white, black, latino, or North DeKalb vs South DeKalb, or Druid Hills vs Lakeside, or Chamblee vs Cross Keys - I mean children of every strip and from every corner of DeKalb who may be yet unborn.

If planning is about my child's education and about my property value, the "Planning" department is not planning it is accommodating.

As the planning process evolves, I will look for voices that address this fundamental distinction. I expect our Board of Education and Superintendent to listen intently to our current parents because they are the system's customers and are an irreplaceable source of input. However, we "pay" them to make decisions in the interest of the community in whole, not parts.

Anonymous said...

Should lines for a now overcrowded school be redrawn, cutting out part of the current feeder neighborhood, to accommodate overcrowdind that is the result of transfers (aYP, administrative, and other)? That is the question that will be on the table for several schools in DCSS. While i fully understand why parents want their students at these schools, and are willing to drive them long distances to get there, should my neighborhood now be moved to a different school to maintain the tranfer population at our current school?

Anonymous said...

"I'm all for redistricting. Just leave my child's school alone." says DeKalb County parents.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe I've sat here and read all these posts. Having read them, I have a few questions.

1. What makes a school successful? Is it as simple as the school made AYP? Why do so many people want to send their kids to Chamblee and the folks here are talking about closing it down? If you move a school, will whatever it is that makes it successful still work?

2. This new buzzword "programtically" equal - what the heck does this mean? Do you want every school to be a carbon copy of a single model? To you, does "same" mean "equal?"

3. When someone suggests that we centralize the magnet program or any school, so that the resources are available to everyone, what resources are you referring to?

4. In this overcrowded county with streets that stay clogged up with traffic, how can anyone believe that there is a "central location" for anything? What is the advantage to centralization? IF large schools are so advantageous, then lets just have one Elementary school, one Middle school, and one High school for the county. For that matter, why not just have ONE SCHOOL! We can give our kids a number and stencil it on a jump suit so they can be identified in the corridors. We can just buy the old GM plant and convert it to the new DeKalb School. Of course, we'll need to hire more people at the county level to supervise and more instructional coaches (aka "Bulletin board checkers").

Anonymous said...

As has been pointed out previously, the Magnet program does not belong to Chamblee - it belongs to the entire school system. Why should it be housed "up north" rather than in a central location.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, people want to send their children to Chamblee except for those who live in the Chamblee neighborhood. Who knew?

Kim Gokce said...

Anon 9:26: "should my neighborhood now be moved to a different school to maintain the tranfer population at our current school? "

Easy one: No.

I can't see this being forced through because it is patently unfair. The only scenario where I could see it coming off this way would be as one step in a multi-step plan to re-balance. If it is a static, on-off decision, it would be indefensible.

If the BoE can actually build a compelling plan that significantly consolidates and re-districts the County as a whole, then there is something to talk about. Not expecting that kind of visionary plan to come out of this process, though ...

Anonymous said...

I have a desire, however, to have my kids at a school that has access to "real" gifted programming and the ability to be challanged by other children in the classroom, not all neighborhood schools have this. When I talk about programmatically equal, yes, to some degree schools should be cookie cutter - every school should have foreign language available to its students - it is well documented that elementary students have the most ease learning language. Take a look around - there are tremendous differences in this access. Every school child should have access to music - again it is well-documented that children who have access to music programs are more successful in math.

Regarding the comment about different schools addressing different needs...if this is really what you believe, then we should develop different thematic schools across the county and all students - regardless of their neighborhood - should be allowed to attend the school that best addresses those needs. It is a false assumption that the neighborhood context should guide the needs of the neighborhood school. Indeed, given the framework presented on this blog, this may be the most desirable approach. Why should a local neighborhood school get resources to have specific programming, then the ability to block other students from that programming simply because of location? Schools should be present to serve children - not neighborhoods...I don't buy the notion that a school is there to help the community - it is there to teach the child.

Regarding the centralization of programs....do you really think that KMS is has easy access for all families? My hunch is that you don't care. Again, why should a gifted or high acheiver be left in a school that cannot provide adequate resources. Let's be real, such resources are based on points earned, and those points come from the school population. Again, there seems to be a degree of protectionism going on here that has nothing to do with what is good for ALL children... not just those in your neighborhood.

Kim, I agree that the department must make decisions based on the future and for the good of students across the entire county. I do not ask them to change their approach because of my child. What I do ask is that the decisions are made in such a way that allows those who are uncomfortable with changes (who have kids moving immediately into a school that doesn't have resources or isn't making AYP) that result from redistricting to make the best decision for their child.

Kim Gokce said...

Anon 9:52

Since you seem a new visitor and took the time to catch up on this thread (some are over 200 comments), I'm going to offer my two cents on your questions:

1. What makes a school successful?

Excellent faculty, involved parents, and motivated students.

Is it as simple as the school made AYP?

No.

Why do so many people want to send their kids to Chamblee and the folks here are talking about closing it down?

Folks want their kids in the High Achievers Magnet, not necessarily Chamblee HS per se. Folks that are talking about shutting it down are talking about the building and the attendance area, not the school. The school is independent of the building.

If you move a school, will whatever it is that makes it successful still work?

In the case of High Achievers at CCHS, I think so because it is the High Achievers program that has been successful - where it goes, so goes the faculty, class sizes, and parents and students of the same profile.

2. This new buzzword "programtically" equal - what the heck does this mean? Do you want every school to be a carbon copy of a single model? To you, does "same" mean "equal?"

I think for some folks here we are talking about not making every school the same but making the opportunity for all children the same. The way to do that depends on who you talk to here. For me, it is a larger school format to broaden the amenities at each school, expand the enrollment via attendance area, and minimize variances in population swings due to development trends over time. Class size and curriculum are different questions.

3. When someone suggests that we centralize the magnet program or any school, so that the resources are available to everyone, what resources are you referring to?

Faculty, curriculum, and class sizes mostly. Plus, in the past there was some extra funding for High Achievers - I think for the most part that has dried up but I'm not sure.

4. In this overcrowded county with streets that stay clogged up with traffic, how can anyone believe that there is a "central location" for anything? What is the advantage to centralization? IF large schools are so advantageous, then lets just have one Elementary school, one Middle school, and one High school for the county. For that matter, why not just have ONE SCHOOL! We can give our kids a number and stencil it on a jump suit so they can be identified in the corridors. We can just buy the old GM plant and convert it to the new DeKalb School. Of course, we'll need to hire more people at the county level to supervise and more instructional coaches (aka "Bulletin board checkers").

I'm going to take "one high school" as hyperbole. The debate here on the blog about school size has been fueled by the capacity utilization question and how that affects operating expenses and capital investments in DeKalb. Small sized schools that are under-enrolled are not fully funded by the State. That is where it started. Then, folks like me started asking why we wouldn't look to consolidate our high school plant to save money on operations AND capital and (in my view) expand the access to amenities and programs for all DeKalb students.

I think asking what is the right number and capacity of our schools is a very important question. I think ignoring this question as we seemed to have for 20+ years (since middle school format) is the primary reason we are having so much pain now.

If this seems like a complicated and painful discussion, that is because it is.

Kim Gokce said...

Anon 11:34

You've pretty much summed it up in a sentence - this is the challenge and will be the metric by which most affected parents measure success for planning ... "grandfathering" would really complicate the planning but should be accommodated where ever feasible. Not sure how it should work but it is the ideal ...

"What I do ask is that the decisions are made in such a way that allows those who are uncomfortable with changes (who have kids moving immediately into a school that doesn't have resources or isn't making AYP) that result from redistricting to make the best decision for their child."

Anonymous said...

Some of the ptogrammatic differences in elementary schools, at least, are the result of parent funded initiatives. At our former elementary school, for example, parents raised money to fund art and foreign language teachers.

Anonymous said...

If we eliminated the bloat from the central office and started a "floor up" budgetting process with certain "givens" in smaller "districts" with less bearocracy, I think we could have more even schools. I think Michelle Rhee has been very successful on this front. I think each and every school child is entitled to certain basics including gym, music, art, foreign language, and then the core subjects. They are entitled to a safe environment with a teacher who can discipline the classroom effectively and who is smart enough and educated well enough to actually know that there are 50 states (don't laugh, I know some kids marked wrong for not knowing there were 51). I believe in "tracking" -- but there needs to be room for movement between tracks -- level 3 (gifted kids) should not be in with low level 2s and level 1s. At the HS level, we need the kids to have access to AP or IB classes staffed at 21 kids (give or take per class) and actually being taught to the natiional/international curriculum (right now, this isn't the case). If all schools could provide this, along with a technology track for the kids who, when they reach 6th grade are clearly not headed for college or not interested in college and a math/science (Bronx science) true gifted magent (not the BS "high achiever" magnet we now have that offers far more to certain select kids who are no different from the vast majority of their peers in other schools, we could truly begin to have a premier school system again.

Anonymous said...

To those that think that EVERYONE in Chamblee do not want to send their kids to Chamblee High, I beg to differ. Sure the numbers are about 50-50, we've done some non-scientific surveys of neighborhoods, in our direct area, within two miles of Chamblee High School, there are many who want to send their kids to CCHS and who plan on it.

To those that want to close our school and the attendance zone, We're willing to listen, however we're not just going to lie down and let something happen that will directly effect our children. We would like an open and honest discussion, something we don't seem to get much of, amongst the Central Office leadership and the BOE. We're tired of the BOE making knee-jerk reactions that don't make economic sense or common sense. They always look at temporary solutions to solve long term problems. This practice has got to stop! It's time to start planning long term and thinking long term. We know change is painful and not everyone will agree, but we need to have discussions BEFORE we make decisions so that all viable options can be looked at and aired.

Kittredge is in an odd location, it is close to 285, but we were as miffed as others when Clew moved the magnet from North Druid Hills to the Perimeter Center area. I know Sembler was part of that discussion, but once that got tabled why move it?

Avondale is much more convenient to the southern part of the county than the north. But it's in a location that is difficult for most to get there. It's not easily accessible to 285 or 85 as other choices. WE LIVE IN A LARGE COUNTY and traffic is a major issue!

Why not have a resident program and magnet program in two schools, one in the northern end and one in the southern end? We must look at all practical options.


My question once again, why does DCSS seem to hate success and celebrate mediocrity?

Kim Gokce said...

Anon 3:49

I thought Southwest DeKalb still housed a "High Achievers" program. Anyone?

Regarding the location of Avondale, I agree if that it were the only HA program that would be a problem. I also wonder if there is any political calculations being made about the future of Dunwoody or Chamblee becoming independent school districts?

I honestly suspect this is having an influence. The posture by many in Dunwoody and Chamblee is to get as far separated as possible from DeKalb schools AND government. If the "separatists" have their way, Avondale will be consider North Central in the end. Just a thought ...

Kim Gokce said...

another irony about Avondale as a site for HA: it would be moved there in many ways to "save" Avondale as a high school. Isn't that what many of those who support such a move are complaining was done at Chamblee in the past?

Cerebration said...

As has been pointed out previously, the Magnet program does not belong to Chamblee - it belongs to the entire school system. Why should it be housed "up north" rather than in a central location.
September 19, 2010 10:06 AM


Do you feel the same way about the high achievers magnet at SW DeKalb? How about the magnificent magnet programs at Arabia? Why does Chamblee have to be centrally located, yet these don't?

Anonymous said...

Please read - the suggestion was to move all of the high-achiever programs, ES, MS and HS to a centrally located campus. This is not a "move" to save Avondale.

The current student population at Avondale, which is extremely small would be moved to another high school in the area.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 0349 - did you not review the enrollment data that was linked in this post?

Over HALF of the students at CCHS are outside of the attendance zone.

Anonymous said...

My issue with the high achievers' program is more programmatic in nature. Why is such a program limited to a lottery? Shouldn't all high achievers or gifted students have access to programs that satisfy their needs? Really? A lottery? So the gifted kid in a local school who does not "win" the education lottery gets the shaft because the local school does not provide what this child needs, which is often not only programs, but also peers that collaborate and thus raise the bar. Indeed, providing such stimulation is based on earning points...so you have to have enough children to earn a point for a gifted teacher, right? (or the local principle decides - and if there are other things that individual values more or children at the bottom of the spectrum who have needs to be met, then the funding goes there to ensure AYP).

I don't know the answer, but the current situation clearly is not right. A school should not have to "win" the magnet to succeed overall, and a student shouldn't have to "win" a lottery to have educational needs met.

Again, it seems to me we should be working to ensure that the educational value is present in ALL schools, that programs are available for all students. Only if this is concurrent with redistricting does redistricting make sense. IMHO

Anonymous said...

In actuality, a "gifted" child could lose out to a "high achiever" in a lottery.

This "high-achiever" bs needs to stop. Either have a truly gifted magnet program where the students meet the federal standards of "gifted" or do away with these "high-achiever" magnet programs.

Cerebration said...

True. Somehow, parents have come to believe that the 70th percentile is "high achieving".

And no, I have not heard much noise about moving SW DeKalb's HA program. Just Chamblee. That leaves basically nothing in the north but regular, everyday high schools. No "choice" at all up here.

Anonymous said...

High Achievers are not limited to a magnet program. My child is at Chamblee Middle and his entire 6th grade team are high achievers and residents too. They all came from Discovery programs at Montgomery, Huntley Hills and Ashford Park. Plus, the High Achiever program has tougher standards than the magnet. You must have higher grades and test scores to be a part of the high Achiever program at CMS. The Kittredge magnet students are NOT at CMS until 7th grade.

I still don't see why we need to bring all the magnet to the center of the county. We have a couple in the south, Arabia and SW DeKalb and one in the north, CCHS. What's wrong with that? You move everything to Avondale, which is the rumor that is running wild, will have everyone driving and creating even more traffic for the already clogged roads around Memorial Drive. Isn't Avondale HS like 3 or 4 miles from 285? I know CCHS is only a mile and a half from 285.

No Duh said...

Come on people. Please come to a basic understanding of the difference between "High Achievers" and "Gifted" students before you come on the blog and start comparing the HA magnets with the Discovery programs with the AP classes with the lotteries with the resources with the FTE money that follows GIFTED students. If you don't know the difference between a High Achiever and a Gifted student (a student can be both), please don't wax poetic about what DCSS needs to do with the magnets, etc.

Anonymous said...

Um, the criteria for being classified as a "high-achiever" is the same across DCSS - there is no difference, whether in the magnet program or not. The "Gifted" standards are defined by the State of Georgia.

Anonymous said...

Here is the link to what the State of Georgia defines as a "gifted" student.

http://www.gadoe.org/ci_iap_gifted.aspx?PageReq=EligibilityChart

WAY, WAY more stringent than our Magnet Schools for High Achievers.

No Duh said...

Why don't the southern high schools offer as many AP classes as the northern schools?

Could it be lack of fortitude and confidence? Could it be poor school board representation?

Could it be we have lost our ability to BELIEVE?

DCSS needs to have the guts to place AP classes in high schools that -- on the surface -- don't seem to have the students who could handle an AP class.

I say, put (for instance) AP Biology in a southern school that currently doesn't offer it. But, don't yank it out after one year if only a couple students take it. Isn't that a grotesquely exhorbitant waste of money, you ask? You bet. But, I'd rather waste our tax dollars helping just two students have access to AP Biology than to have all the teachers subjected to force-fed curriculum programs that do not have data to support them.

Why do I think this is a better use of our tax dollars? Because I BELIEVE if you build it they will come. You just have to give it time and promotion and build on success.

And maybe, just maybe, the brain drain will slow down.

Anonymous said...

The Valedictorian at MLK HS had over a 4.0 Average and was accepted at Ohio State University.

It's obvious he received a great education at one of these so-called "failing" schools that over 700 students transfer out of.

Why?

Anonymous said...

"6th grade team are high achievers and residents too.

This isn't true. His classes may be with all students who qualify as high achievers, but the whole team is certainly not all high achievers. That is how they do it at some DCSS middle schools, but CMS doesn't have the numbers to allow that.

Anonymous said...

No Duh

I have advocated your position for years.

You are on the money. The classes need to be in place for the students who need them.

It is very possible for teachers to teach at more than one school, so one AP Biology teacher could actually teach at 2 schools.

If the courses are never offered, then the momentum never builds and the demand for the classes can never exist.

How do you know what you don't experience?

Anonymous said...

Anon. 10:08
You are mistaken about your facts. I checked again this morning to make sure I was correct, in my post last night. My son's 6th grade team are all High Achievers. They are a High Achieving team. Like I said earlier, there might be two who are not, however the majority of the team are! May I ask where you get your information?

I am a parent of a child on the 6-A team at CMS. We had curriculum night and I am proud to say that all but one child was represented by a parent that night.

Please tell me how you know so much about CMS? Do you have a child there?

Anonymous said...

Prior to this year, there was only one "Team" at Chamblee Middle School, so it would have been a little difficult to have separate teams for gifted, high achievers and general. This year due to the influx of NCLB transfers another team was added at Chamblee. Again, neither team is separated by classification. All levels are in each team. There is simply not enough students in 6th afford delination.

That changes in 7th grade when the KMS students arrive.

Anonymous said...

^^That should have read:

Prior to this year, there was only one 6th grade "Team" at Chamblee Middle School

Anonymous said...

@11:24. How many of the children in this class of high acheivers are transfers (not just magnet, but AYP, admin., etc.)? Would such grouping be possible if such transfers were not present?

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:59
There is only two transfers in the 6-A group, the remaining are residents. When the 100 AYP kids arrived they added a 6th grade teacher and only one, that my son knows of, was placed into 6-A. At curriculum night we were surprised, as you most likely are, that everyone in this group were from our neighborhood schools, we knew them all!

Also, most of these parents are planning to send their kids to CCHS as well. I know it's hard to believe, but this neighborhood is changing and not everyone who lives here goes to private schools.
The last 10-15 years, young families, like ours, moved here because of CCHS and then of course CMS, as the battle raged to build the new building in the neighborhood. Over the next 10 years you are going to see more residents go to the public schools, especially if CCHS gets a new facility and maintains their lofty perch of academic success in DeKalb County.

Anonymous said...

I think it is important to note that the success at CCHS is not shared equally. The magnet students do far better, when Johnny Brown had the test scores separated, the differences were striking.

I am going to try and find the chart from way back when to illustrate the point.

If you read the Chamblee charter, you will see references to the differences in outcomes among non-magnet students and magnet students.

Anonymous said...

^^^You will be very surprised when the enrollment data for the MS come out. It won't backup you ascertains.

Anonymous said...

It is already available for the middle school, just not in the format that was released for the high schools.

Here it is updated on Sept 15th:

Chamblee Middle has 494 resident attendees and 394 non-resident attendees.

http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/planning/files/ResNonRes_20100915.pdf

Anonymous said...

1:00pm Anon.
Please come to my kids class and I'll introduce you to his team! Geez, I'm tired of being called a liar. Have you been to the school? Have you talked with every kid on team 6-A. I have, I've met them! I have a very close friend on the school counsel. Are your numbers broken down by grade and team? I'm just saying.. I'll meet you at the school this afternoon!

Anonymous said...

Why is this Anon. poster so anxious to close CMS? Geez, work at the county office? Jealous of the schools success? What's your issue? Why can't you believe people that actually have students at the school? I'm retired and live in the area and I know of plenty of young families that plan to send their kids, who attend Montgomery now, to CMS.

Anonymous said...

No one is talking about closing CMS or CCHS - take a chill pill.