In her first meet-and-greet Saturday morning with the community, DeKalb school chief finalist Cheryl Atkinson came across as open, tough, seasoned and ready for the challenges of the fractured district.
Twice, to applause both times, Atkinson said she had no problem letting people go who are not performing. She also won applause when she said that education takes place in the classroom, not in the central office.
(You gained the sense that the DeKalb parents in the audience believe there is too much dead weight in the central office as the applause was reflexive whenever Atkinson talked about changes at that level.)
“My focus will be on our students and student success first with adults and political issues taking a distant second. Children must come first. Our decisions, my decisions, must first and foremost focus on what is good for all children. My intention is to create an internal structure that will allow effective educators to focus on the core mission improving academic performance. We do not have the luxury of allowing non-academic related issues to consume the attention and focus of all our educators,” she said
She also earned applause when she said that she didn’t believe in teaching to tests, but she did believe in preparing for them, including raising the performance of high school students on the college admission tests, the SAT and the ACT. In Kansas City, she pushed and obtained ACT testing for every student during the school day.
There is much more. Read Maureen's blog post by clicking here.