The School by School Education Adequacy reports are now available on line. A huge amount of kudos to Dan Drake, Director of Planning and Forecasting, for putting all this out there for us to see. As we go through the reports, DCSS faces some tough questions. Of the 134 facilities evaluated in the report, only 42 scored 80 or above in adequacy. Most of those were newer or have been extensively renovated and/or had additions. Contrast that number to the fact that 50 facilities scored poor or unsatisfactory! And there are a lot of schools that ranked fair that are actually just a point or two points better than poor!
NEW INFORMATION IS NOW AVAILABLE.
This is the guidelines that were used to evaluate each of the criteria.
I recommend that you start with the summary report here to get a sense of the range of scores.
You can find the school by school information here:
Scroll down to the bottom for the school by school report. The school reports are fairly self explanatory. If a school is scored less than good on a criteria, then the report explains the deficiency at the bottom.
Here is what the scores mean:
Having read through some of the reports, but certainly not all, there are a few things that really stand out to me.
- Several of the newer schools have classrooms that don’t meet DCSS’ own size requirements. What is up with this?
- There are some easy fixes out there for some of the issues. Lack of sprinkler systems, adequate fencing, etc cost money but can be corrected.
- There are some very complicated challenges out there as well. Many schools have spaces that are smaller, sometimes far smaller, than they need to be.
- The gyms that were added in SPLOST II to most elementary school are smaller than DCSS standards.
Once we have the engineering reports to combine with the adequacy reports, it is necessary to begin to develop a process to decide what we can live with and what we can’t. If every kindergarten classroom in a school is 50 square feet too small, what should we do? If the library is too small by 1500 square feet, what should happen? What problems are ones that we can live with and which demand solutions?
And now a brief word about the technology readiness reports. Again, these reports are straightforward, clear and concise. What is missing from the reports is an acknowledgment that most of those older elementary schools with high scores are there because the parents have invested a tremendous amount of time and energy and money modernizing their community schools and bringing in technology. Vanderlyn doesn’t have Smart Boards in every classroom because the system provided them; they have them because parents did! I think this should be indicated so both the board members and the general public understand how and why this has occurred.