Wednesday, September 22, 2010
What about academics?
We really need to focus on the utter failure of our school system to get our schools into AYP passing zone. We are continuing to slip in the standings and continue to produce three times as many high schools that do not make Adequate Yearly Progress (much less - substantial progress) as do, and we continue to only offer transfers to the few "passing schools" still available as a response to these school failures. To date, DeKalb County School System still has not met AYP as a system.
Check out this chart for 2009 available at DCSS's website entitled, DEKALB COUNTY SCHOOLS ADEQUATE YEARLY PROGRESS 2003 - 2009. There, we see that the only high schools that made AYP through 2008 were Chamblee, Clarkston, DECA, DeKalb HS of Technology North, DSA, Druid Hills, Lakeside and Miller Grove. Since this report, the system consolidated the Tech North HS into Cross Keys and we added Arabia, which made AYP and Dunwoody and Tucker have returned to "passing" status. But sadly, Clarkston, Druid Hills and Miller Grove dropped off the list and did not make AYP last year according to the 2010 AYP report available by clicking here.
We are in a mess. Our math program is questionable, many of our schools have not made AYP, we have an interim superintendent, an interim head of SPLOST construction and an interim head of "teaching and learning". The board members continue to "make news", issue apologies and get scolded publicly. Our board cannot agree on an ethics policy for themselves. The Lewis and Pope trials are now scheduled for January, which will certainly bring about much more salacious gossip. Our legal fees are equal to the entire budgets of most school systems. The distractions are numerous and on-going.
I know this seems obvious to all of you but - although we need to be aware of the "outside issues", we need to focus on educating children. Please pressure your board rep to pressure Ms. Tyson to do so, even though her area of expertise is technology. She needs to take the bull by the horns and visit schools, talk with teachers and principals and roll up her sleeves working to improve performance. She needs to take a look at the virtual "army" of instructional leaders who are not working directly with students and place them into classroom or direct student support settings. She needs to toss every available resource into the schoolhouses so that our children do not suffer another year of "Inadequate" progress. If she does not possess the moxie to do this, then we need to push the board to find another interim who will.