NEW DATA! As I was perusing the 2020 Vision documents, I found to my surprise and delight that some critical data akin to the data requested by Sandy is now available on the DCSS website! Go to the 2020 Vision web page and download the new files that show exactly how many gifted students are identified at each elementary school, how many each school sends to Wadsworth, Kittredge, Chamblee MS, Chamblee HS, Chapel Hill MS and SW DeKalb HS.
In addition to the raw numbers - which are quite eye-opening - there are maps with bar charts showing very clearly where most of the gifted students reside. The answer is undeniably in the north end of DeKalb. Some north DeKalb schools have so many gifted students one has to wonder why these schools are not simply labeled "High Achiever Magnets" and require lotteries to get in!
This begs the question - is it really "equitable" to merge schools and force so many from the northern parts of the county to drive into Avondale? In fact, if you look at where the gifted students in south DeKalb actually live, you will see that they don't live anywhere near Avondale either! This idea of creating a "central" location merging all magnet schools may need to be revisited.
Here are direct links to these files:
Elementary School Kingsley ES High-Achiever Magnet and Gifted Students (DATA)
Elementary School Kingsley ES High-Achiever Magnet and Gifted Students (MAP)
Middle School and High School High-Achiever Magnet and Gifted Students (DATA)
Middle School and High School High-Achiever Magnet and Gifted Students (MAP)
I find it interesting that we are always told that the magnets get extra funding because they serve so many gifted students at once. Well, these charts don't tell us how many students at Kittredge and Wadsworth are gifted, but they do tell us for Chamblee and SW DeKalb. If I'm reading the chart correctly - these are some comparisons
Magnet Schools for High Achievers/Number of Gifted
Chamblee MS - 294
Chamblee HS - 388
Chapel Hill MS - 81
SW DeKalb HS - 262
Regular School/Number of Gifted
Druid Hills MS (Shamrock) - 83
Druid Hills HS - 161
Peachtree MS - 152
Dunwoody HS - 225
Henderson MS - 157
Lakeside HS - 317
Salem MS - 57
MLK HS - 118
Stephenson MS - 51
Stephenson HS - 115
Tucker MS - 63
Tucker HS - 117
In fact, we have 1010 students labeled gifted in our regular middle schools, and only 375 who "won" a seat at a magnet school for high achievers.
And we have 1805 students labeled gifted in our high schools, with only 650 who "won" a seat at a magnet school for high achievers.
We have 3,289 students labeled gifted in our elementary schools. How many gifted labeled students do you imagine "won" a seat at Kittredge or Wadsworth? (Remember, not all students at these magnet schools are labeled gifted -- and the populations of both schools combined is barely 600.)
Every DCSS elementary school is host to gifted students. Some more than others. Some may even have more than the magnet schools. In fact, Vanderlyn has 150 gifted students, Princeton, 109, Pine Ridge, 90, Oak Grove, 173, Montgomery, 112, Henderson Mill 103, Fernbank, 145, Evansdale, 118, Chesnut, 95, Briarlake, 93 and Austin, 102.
Are these gifted students being properly served? Are too many "gifted" resources being spent on magnets for those lucky winners and not enough on gifted students back at the "home" schools? There are some really important questions here. Before we go merging the magnets as they live in their current form - perhaps we need to step back and evaluate the equity for gifted students countywide. There's no way to create a magnet school that would hold 3,289 students.