Jim's opponent, Nancy Jester’s well-researched, accurate spreadsheets document that things are, indeed, that bad in DCSS. For example: Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) started out at a 14% AYP school failure rate in 2004 as did DCSS. Today, GCPS has only an 8.5% school failure rate while DCSS has risen to a 44% school failure rate. GCPS has gotten better even as their population has become more “economically disadvantaged” (54% are now on free/reduced lunch), more diverse (now only one-third of students are white; they have more ESL) and quite large (now 160,000+ students). Of course, our board members say that we shouldn’t compare the systems.
It would be informative – and probably even more damning – to look at individual BOE member's voting records. The BOE has made certain that its members’ votes and statements in official meetings are inaccessible. All votes and statements are recorded in the minutes – for every meeting – including work sessions, business meetings, called meetings, and committee meetings. These are public record and should be easily, publicly accessible. Why are the minutes of these meetings not on the DCSS website? Why are members’ votes not on the DCSS website?
The only way to access this critical information, detailing the performance of BOE members, is through an open records request. That sure makes it tough to be an informed voter and Throw The Incumbents Out! on Election Day. Hmmm … exactly!