Sunday, March 27, 2011

Are we properly educating Latinos in DeKalb?

Maureen Downey has a post on her AJC "Get Schooled" blog called, White House: Education of Latinos essential to America's future.

Maureen informs us of these national points:

  • U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan called the improved academic performance of Latino children a “national priority.”
  • Today, 22 percent of students under the age of 18 are Latino.
  • 12 million children in pre-k to high school are Latino
  • less than half of Latino children attend early learning programs and less than half earn their high school degrees
  • Only one in eight has a bachelor’s degree.
  • Only 4 percent of Latinos have an academic degree beyond an undergraduate level.


  • In Georgia, the Hispanic population grew 96 percent, according to the new Census data released this week.
  • In Gwinnett County, the number of Hispanics grew more than 152 percent
  • Cobb County rose 80 percent increase
  • Fulton 51 percent
  • DeKalb 29 percent.
  • Hispanics showed a 100 percent increase in Clayton.

“Both President Obama and I believe reducing the Latino dropout rate and boosting student achievement are absolutely essentially to the future of our economy and the future of our country,” Duncan said.

“Whether parents are educated or not, whether they speak the language or not, it is important that the school partner with those parents,” said Duncan. “We have to hold parents accountable. But at the same time, we have to open our doors and give parents a chance to participate in the culture of the school, regardless of what education level they are at. Every parent wants their child to be successful. We want to double funding for parental engagement programs, not that are feel-good, but programs that lead to higher student achievement.”

“We have to educate our way to a better economy,” Duncan said. “We cannot begin to use tough economic times as an excuse not to invest in education and not to drive improvement.”

In DeKalb, our school board argues black and white debates all of the time. However, truth be told, our school system is about 75% African-American, 11% Hispanic and barely 10% white. We need to refocus our paradigm and commit to conversations about educating all students. Cross Keys is our one high school with an obviously gerry-mandered attendance zone which scoops in almost all of our Hispanic high school students. Cross Keys, ironically, is also the only high school in DeKalb with an on-site vocational program, but no auditorium nor any plans for building one. We can do better.


Anonymous said...

We get it -- Cross Keys is awesome at educating every child in the greatest ways possible while they are treated terribly by DCSS. Every other school isn't doing anything except stealing money from the other schools and ignoring the needs of the children. I'm happy for CK, but everytime they are mentioned, it's to show that they are mistreated and continue to do well. I assure you, that's the same issue at the other successful schools in the county yet they are attacked and blamed for issues like North-V-South or how magnets are too costly.

I wish this blog could keep its focus on watching the county politics that have little to do with the schools. When the schools are pitted against each other, it seems the higher ups are getting exactly what they want -- the focus taken off of them.

Anonymous said...

Tom Bowen and Sarah Copelin-Wood have been on the BOE for past decade when the county's Latino population has exploded.

Ramona Tyson, Bob Moseley, Alice Thompson, Ron Ramsey, etc. have been upper level administrators for DCSS for past decade when the county's Latino population has exploded.

All of them have virtually ignored the county's Latino population.

According to the US Census Bureau's 2009 estimate, the county is 53.7% black, 40% white, and at least 11 % Latino (even though many county officials believe that figure may be underestimated).

Yet DCSS has almost no Latino teachers, and very few Spanish-speaking teachers. There are no Latino principals or DCSS upper level administrators. There is no diversity. DCSS administrators and principals are majority black with some white.

Latino's aren't a concern. The No. 1 proof of fact for this is the gerrymandered attendence lines that hug the Buford Highway corridor.

The DCSS Central office does now, and has for ages, concentrates the Latino population into one district, and then doesn't even have any Latino principals or administrators or special resources in that district.

Kim Gokce is the resident blog expert on this. Despite the DCSS Central Office's ignoring the Latino population, Latino students are thriving at Cross Keys High. It's s testatment to the teachers, staff and students at the school.

The Board of Education and DCC Central Office have completely ignored and failed the countys Latino population. it will continue to be so unless we elect a higher quality of BOE members, and/or the county's Latino leaders demand the BOE and Central Office improves in this area.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon 9:13 AM, instead of whining like a spoiled brat, how about writing some blog articles on those topics where you want to see smart discussion??? Grow up. Do as you say.

Anonymous said...

My point in commenting @9:13 is not to take anything great away that CK is doing -- quite the contrary. I'm happy for them and do think we should celebrate those successes.

However, there have been some henious things said about other successful schools on this blog that have gone so far as to implying that those schools are doing illegal things to achieve those successes or doing those great things off the backs of the other students in the county. I'm just requesting that the focus on this blog remain on the county office rather than encouraging the stakeholders to be pitted against one another. There are successes throughout the county that are negated and attributed to unfair favoritism. I just mean we shouldn't be focusing on Fernbank's parental support or the number of years of experience of DSA's teachers or how Arabia mountain isn't moved with the redistricting or what foreign languages are taught at get the idea.

Not being a spoiled brat. Just calling it like it is. If we really wanted to encourage what's working at some schools, we have to quit blaming those schools and encourage more like them.

Anonymous said...

I read the blog comments in the AJC and was disgusted and discouraged by the hatred, bigotry, and ignorance displayed by many of those making comments.

Are we no better than we were during the Jim Crow days?

Anonymous said...

March 27, 2011 9:20 AM

You must be one of those Fernbank parents who got what you wanted from Walker for your school and you could care less about the Latino's at Cross Keys. This would be my take.

Of course we need to keep our eyes on the county office but we also must keep our eyes on the unequal treatment between schools like Fernbank, and some of the Southern Schools in a few central to southern districts that have had all the cookies and creme and tht any teacher could possible want for their classroom while schools like Cross Keys have done without due to their drawn school lines. I think attention definitely needs to be brought to these political decisions of the school board and county office staff. I do believe we all have a right to freedom of speech. We have as much right as you do to blog on this blog. I for one feel Fernbank has had its cake and ate it and continues to pull strings through playing politics on the school board and maybe their school district lines should have been divided up like Cross Key district school's lines were and maybe then some of those parents could understand.

I do not live in the Cross Keys district but I see how horrible their district lines have been drawn. The lines have been drawn extremely discriminatory to pull all the Latino and Oriental population on Bufford Hwy into Cross Keys High School.

Anonymous said...

With the exception of removing Ashford Park from the Cross Key district, about a decade ago, are we certain that CK's lines were drawn this way on purpose?

When Sequoyah was converted to a middle school from a high school, what happened?

Anonymous said...

"how Arabia mountain isn't moved with the redistricting"

That's a pretty important question to ask. it has nothing to do with trying to bring successful schools down. The Central Office and BOE have refuse to address why Arabia Mountain was presented to the public as a way to address overcrowding, but then after it opened, that was not the case.

Classic "bait and switch".

Anonymous said...

The accuations that the Cross Keys attendance area is drawn as some sort of evil plot to discriminate against the Hispanic population need to cease. With the exception of the Ashford Park neighborhood that was rezoned in Chamblee the Cross Keys attendance area has changed little since its opening. When Sequoyah HS was converted to a MS in the late 1980's, the Sequoyah area was zoned into Cross Keys. At the time this was all taking place, the student populations at Sequoyah and Cross Keys were not predominantly Hispanic.

Another example of information and accusations gone amok.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but there is a huge elephant in the room regarding Latino education that neither Obama nor Duncan are acknowledging. How many of those dropouts about whom they pretend to be so worried are the children of illegal immigrants who have no route to a legal presence in this country?

With no green card, a child has no real motivation to finish high school. You don't need a high school diploma for the kind of job that will pay you under the table. With no green card, you aren't eligible for college scholarship funds, and very soon you won't be eligible for college at all.

Why in the world would this huge population of "illegal" children feel compelled to finish high school? It's laughable, really, that Duncan can call the education of these children a "national priority" when we have damned so many of them to menial labor as "ghosts".

Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate that there are still people who believe the root of all problems in America are immigrants who are brown-skinned and that every Latino must 'illegal.' I agree with Anonymous@9:47am. The depth of hatred and intolerance revealed in discussions on the subject are frightening. Some Americans have not yet learned that isolating, ignoring and blaming a population based on ethnicity does not solve any problem. If you want some action taken on 'illegal' immigrants, go after the industries that employ them, but don't penalize their children and everyone else who is here legally just because they may be brown and have an accent. If we are a caring and compassionate community, we will do our best for everyone, so that they can have a good education. I don't feel my children have missed out on anything by being educated in a multicultural environment. In fact, their experiences have enriched them and me. I suspect that people who harp on superficial things and ethnicity under the guise of purifying and controlling citizenship, even for children who had no choice in being brought to this country, have personal issues and feelings of inadequacy and are looking for someone to blame for their own lack of accomplishment. All of are schools need to be adequately funded and supported.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous @1:37pm It is a gross over simplification of the issue of
drop out rates among immigrant students to suggest it is due to them or their parents not having 'green cards' or only having a career path to menial jobs that 'pay under the table,' so they can't possibly be motivated. It is narrow-minded, but currently popular though shallow thinking that comes to this type of conclusion.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous @1:37pm It is a gross over simplification of the issue of
drop out rates among immigrant students to suggest it is due to them or their parents not having 'green cards' or only having a career path to menial jobs that 'pay under the table,' so they can't possibly be motivated. It is narrow-minded, but currently popular though shallow thinking that comes to this type of conclusion.

Anonymous said...

If you are opposed to the presence of undocumented immigrants in this county, then the next time you go to the grocery store, tell the manager to point out the produce and chicken that was NOT processed by 'illegal' immigrants. Then get people who are similarly minded to write letters of protest to the manufacturers of canned and frozen produce, because of their use of undocumented workers, who are ruining OUR country and schools (with their 'illegal,' brown children.) The best thing you and your friends can do is work to prevent the education and assimilation of the children of 'illegal' immigrants into our great benevolent society. They are a drain on our resources. The bonus is that if we don't give them an education and path to citizenship, we can protect and ensure the continuance of our vast pool of poorly paid 'illegal' immigrant labor which is paid 'under the table.' These conglomerates are rightfully run by naturally born American citizens who just want to make a good profit. Maybe Anonymous @1:37pm should read up on the history of undocumented 'illegal' labor in this country. Their children don't deserve an opportunity to break the low income cycle though education. They must be only good for 'menial' labor. Oh, and any supporter of this type of thinking should also boycott railroads and anything transported by rail, until all railroad tracks are replaced by REAL American citizens.

Cerebration said...

@ Anon 1:37 PM - Please read Kim's article from April 2009 regarding the CKHS attendance zone -
One of These Things is Not Like the Other ...

Look at the graphic of the attendance zone. Tell us how it is you think we've "gone amuk"... Really, if this was an African-American attendance zone amid a white and Hispanic school system, we'd be in a federal court -- oh wait - we were for over 26 years!

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:13 and 3:13-- you didn't read my comment very carefully. I think it's a travesty that our undocumented students have no legal career paths in this country. 2:13, if you think that's not a problem, then you aren't having many conversations with undocumented kids enrolled in DeKalb County Schools. I never said that it was the ONLY reason that Latino students drop out; I said it was the white elephant in the room that Duncan refused to address. I never meant to imply that ALL Latino students were illegal; they certainly aren't. I see more of them in my classroom than not, though, and they are growing more and more vocal about their lack of status and are angry about their lack of options.

Anonymous said...

The AJC blog comments made me think of a description of the city of Shenzhen, China, in a recent issue of The Economist magazine. Illegal migrants have poured into Shenzhen from the Chinese countryside to work. The article mentions a philanthropic school there.

...It looks after 132 children who cannot go to the city's schools because their parents, many of whom work for a nearby nuclear plant, are from out of town. That might seem fair enough for the children of temporary workers, but virtually all of the pupils at this school were born in Shenzhen and have lived there all their lives. They are part of a permanent majority. Out of Shenzhen's population of more than 14m people, only 2.5m are residents.

These "black" workers and their children are not entitled to health care, education or pensions in the city because their hukou (residence registration) is elsewhere. In theory you can transfer your hukou from one place to another. With enough documentation, any child under 15 should be able to get free education in Shenzhen. But it is a fiendishly complicated and corrupt business, and many migrants don't have the right papers. Some leave their children behind; others cough up for the 70 or so rudimentary private schools in the city. That saves Shenzhen's mainly middle-class residents and the foreign companies based there a lot of taxes, but it also creates an almost apartheid-like class system.

The Economist, "A special report on the future of the state," March 19, 2011, p. 13.

Anonymous said...

Apologies to Anon@1:37PM for misinterpreting your comments. I have students of all types backgrounds and the very worst ones in terms of attitude are not Hispanic or immigrants. I believe we cannot morally disregard any segment of the population in education, regardless of how they got here. It annoys me to hear all the rhetoric from people who think the blame for all are societal ills will be resolved by vilifying and deporting immigrants.

Anonymous said...

Buford Highway had a predominantly Jewish population in the 1970s as well as a large apartment Singles complex (before Reagan did away with complexes that screened out children - screening out kids was very popular among singles in Atlanta and other big cities in The 70s). Then the area became almost exclusively African American, Asian and Hispanic in the 80s after a court case that showed overt discrimination by the apartment complexes. It's now mainly Hispanic.

Anonymous said...

In the 1980's Cross Keys student population was predominantly African-American. It was not until 2001 or so that the Hispanic population became the majority at Cross Keys.

As in most areas in DeKalb County, the Cross Keys attendance zone has seen a turnover in the makeup of its population since the 1970's.

Ella Smith said...

The Latino students cannot help when their parents just happen to be here illegally. We are talking about children and many of them just happened to be born in America and are American citizens.
Many Latino children are not illegal at all.

However, the ones who were not born in America and are here illegally are bothered that they cannot get their driver's licenses, get the Hope Scholarship, and get into a good college. Many of these students make the grades and feel like American citizens. They are young and confused about the whole illegal bite.

It is sad that anyone would want to penalize these children for something they have no control of.

These visitors are here in America and many of them want to stay in America. Many of them feel like America is their home. I understand the concern about our borders. However, let's take care of all the children regardless of who they are or where they come from. These children are just as important as any of the other children in the American Schools. God loves them all the same.

There are many parents in America who do not pay their fair share of taxes.

However, the Latino population purchases our goods and rents our homes, and spent billions of dollars in our economy.

We would also be hard pressed to get some of our unemployed individuals to do the hard labor some of these individuals do for the pay they get. These individuals are hard working and most of these visitors do not have a lazy bone in their body. We do not have the laborers here in America to take over and do the hard labor that many of these workers do.

If some of our dead beat parents would get off their rears and work just a tenth as hard as most of these parents work to support their children this country would be a much better place.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:58-- spot on. If we really want to handle illegal immigration, we need to go after employers (but we won't because Saxby wants to make sure the Vidalia onion growers and poultry processors can keep their profit margins up). We should also stop dumping cheap corn into Mexico and undermining their economy.

So meantime, since we have the kids here, we should educate them, assimilate them into the community, just as we have with every other immigrant group. If you want to see what happens when you deny young immigrants this chance, look at France and Germany and their large groups of unemployed, disenfranchised immigrant youth. When you don't have an education or a chance at full rights, setting fire to stuff starts to look good.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Ella. The influx of undocumented workers did not just start, and they were in fact, brought over by the government during the 1st world war to supply cheap labor. We continue this trend because certain industries have created a demand and routinely operate with undocumented workers as laborers to ensure good profit margins. The problem is much deeper than the border to Mexico and tax dollars and won't be solved by penalizing students by taking away higher education, even when they have performed well above average, or relegating them to sub-standard facilities. This is an issue for community to pull together on.

Anonymous said...

@10:42pm, another good perspective on this problem, the implications for society-at-large and the reality of how politics play into this. These are children and they deserve a good education.

Kim Gokce said...

Post-a-thon coming ...

Among the reasons I love the history and the present of Cross Keys area is because it is a microcosm of our community dynamics. The comments about about the attendance area lines not being evidence of discriminatory action against Hispanic populations is fairly stated. And, as others have stated above, this attendance area was predominately African-American in recent past, and majority Caucasian prior to that.

So, as I have stated on many occasions prior to this one, I do not think Cross Keys' story is one of active bigotry against our current immigrant neighbors. That said, I have to quickly add that the truth really isn't that much better.

If we examine the history of the school, we'll see that the transition from all-white to majority black occurred during the tens years following de-segregation of the DeKalb system. The lower income whites that lived on Buford Hwy dispersed in the late seventies and early eighties, the whites with kids in single family home neighborhoods slowly moved away or went private or were granted admin transfers from sympathetic administrators.

Regarding the current zone being the same since Cross Keys opened except for Ashford Park, that is just wrong. Jim Cherry Elementary (now Kipp Path Academy), Brookhaven Elementary (now Boys and Girls Club), Skyland Elementary, and Lynwood Park School all used to feed into Cross Keys. The attendance area that used to serve well north of Peachtree and areas up to the Chamblee city limit, now does not touch Peachtree from the south.

We have to also remind ourselves of the important change to the housing laws mentioned above - purging the singles haven of apartments paved the way for a concentration of lower income families of all stripes in the aging physical plant. We all know how "apartment dwellers" are viewed by too many of our better-off neighbors.

Cross Keys has eighty plus apartment complexes in zone. The next highest is Dunwoody with forty-something. And the characteristics of these apartment stocks are very, very different. Not only are they very old, many of them are extremely large complexes. Park Town North alone sprawls from Curtis Drive across North Cliff Valley Way and all the way to Briarwood Road encompassing many, many hundreds of dilapidated units (and some of our top students!).


Kim Gokce said...


The merger with Sequoyah complicated the attendance area planning, too, - there is no doubt. But ultimately, these facts have all been exacerbated by the political nature of our public school system. Once the Doraville->Brookhaven corridor was set as a work-around, it quickly became a permanent fixture that served neither community's interests.

As far as pitting Cross Keys attendance areas against others ... ha-ha! That is a joke. In every possible political or budgetary decision of the past forty years, Cross Keys has lost - that hasn't changed. Just witness the "I will light myself on fire before sending my kids to Cross Keys" response from Brookhaven Fields community less than 1/2 mile from the school.

The only competition you should worry about from our attendance area is how well our kids do in spite of the circumstances or, perhaps, if your bigger, higher profile schools had to match up against our soccer team this year.

Now, the "keep it at the County level" comment above ... agreed! And attacking the problems at the County level is precisely what will cure the "ills" of the past in Cross Keys history. We need more resources in our schools, less in the Central Office. We need decisions made in spite of, not in deference to politics. We need far fewer schools and far more teachers.

All of this is to say that the situation with Cross Keys attendance area is more complex than a simple cry of "bigotry" will explain. So please, as the debate about the future Cross Keys attendance area lingers (it is in the middle of so many stalemates and that is another reason it remains fossilized), please remember it is not I who is making these assertions - I simply want for these kids the same thing being offered to our neighbors' kids.

P.S. Thank you, Cere, for mentioning the "auditorium" ... when I bring this fact up in front of officials, I'm told Cross Keys "was never promised an auditorium." To which I answer, "Why the hell not?"

Anonymous said...

Chew on this.

In 2 or so years, there will be a 2,000 seat Chamblee Charter HS. How do you think they are going to fill the school?

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:37 PM, you clearly do not know the history of DCSS. Of course there is no overt conspiracy. But the attendance lines for the area are purposeful.

As Kim said, it's all about the apartment complexes. That area turned from white/Jewish to black/hispanic then to hispanic. The attendance lines was and is a winding snake that engulfs the apartment complexes to make sure Hispanics are kept far away from Dunwoody and Lakeside.

DCSS treatement of Hispanic students is simply disgraceful. But that population has no voice, no political might. The Latino American Association on Buford Highway provides an awesome array of services, but has never addressed DCSS.

Hopefully one day that will change.
But for now, the BOE and Central Office will keep their disgraceful status quo.

Anonymous said...

So it seems the consensus is clear. Despite appearances, Cross Keys was not designed to lump all the Hispanics together.

It was designed to keep all the lower income apartment dwellers together and the middle class separate (is this any better?).

But 9:13/33 does have a point. There is a lot of jealousy and a desire by some (see Woods) to drag everyone down to the lowest common denominator instead of pulling people up. The previous blog on average cost and the physical condition of the buildings make it clear that the "privileged schools" (Kittredge and Wadsworth are immaterial in the scheme of things and open to all) aren't getting any more resources and perhaps getting less. Its just that resources are being squandered by the administration.

Anonymous said...

Ashford Park was moved into the Chamblee attendance area at the same time Chamblee Middle School was established - 1988. Prior to that Ashford Park fed into Sequoyah/Cross Keys.

The move to Chamblee had nothing to do with the Latino population, but everything to do with the African-American populations at Sequoyah/Cross Keys at the time. In 1988, Chamblee was still a majority white school.

What is ironic is that Chamblee HS now is a predominantly black school. But, that does not matter as the Ashford Park folks don't send their kids to Chamblee - but go private. The wish to stay in the Chamblee district is for perception only.

Anonymous said...

Many of the Brookhaven areas fighting so hard to stay out of Cross Keys area do not even utilize Ashford Park for their children.

Anonymous said...

All "illegal" immigrants pay sales taxes. Some actually pay into social security (a smart Harvard economist told me that actually my social security was possible due to illegal immigrants), most of them do jobs that no one else seems to want. In any case, if their kids can make the grade in school (paid for by sales taxes they pay and property taxes that their rent lets landlords pay) power to them. We can use some more talented industrious people here. People are after all our biggest resource. The real disparity in DeKalb is finding some Hispanic teachers. Maybe if we went to Texas to recruit. Or would they feel welcome here? . Oh I forgot the poem about the statue of liberty says Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to be free. really means let's round up 12 million people, put them in camps and send them back to Mexico or wherever they came from. Someone, else said I was a stranger and ye took me in….

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 11:56 AM


Just so you know -- since you clearly do not check facts:
(1) Ashford Park was originally in the Chamblee High School attendance area. The neighborhood had been wanting to move back for some time. The state's insistence on creating middle schools gave Ashford Park the opportunity to move back.

(2) With the advent of M-to-M and with Kittredge coming to Chamblee High School, CHS was no longer majority white. With M-to-M, CHS was approximately 50% white and other (i.e., Asian, Hispanic, Multi-cultural -- an important distinction used to calculate M-to-M spaces) and 50% African-American. Chamblee High School (now Chamblee Charter High School since 2000) has not been majority white for more than 20 years.

Anonymous said...

Ashford Park wasn't moved in to the Chamblee cluster until the mid 1990s.

Anonymous said...

From a July 1997, AJC article:


Chamblee High's future

Parents from Ashford Park Elementary have succeeded in having the attendance zone for Chamblee High shifted so that their children will go there instead of to Cross Keys. The DeKalb County school board, after years under court desegregation oversight, almost never changes attendance lines, but this week agreed to have Ashford Park Elementary feed to the new Chamblee Middle School when it opens in 1988, and eventually to Chamblee High. The new middle school will be in the old Shallowford Elementary building its first year. Ashford Park graduates currently go to Sequoyah Middle School.

Anonymous said...

Too funny....All schools were in the Chamblee attendance zone at one time...Chamblee was the only high school in the north end of the county for decades.

Kim Gokce said...

back on topic for grins ... I'd like to think children of Hispanic origin in DeKalb don't need teachers that share their heritage. I this is what I believe to be true in terms of educational opportunities but ...

There is also a psychological component that should no be ignored. These young people really do have an inferiority complex and while many of them are high achievers just as many if not more don't try or give up in the end. So what I think our children need are successful Hispanic adults in any role in life to work in our schools.

The children do learn from quality teachers no matter what their cultural or racial profile. But I think our school system leadership and our communities must do a better job of engaging private sector "success stories" for our growing Hispanic student populations.

Anonymous said...

Son of awcomeonnow reporting in.
Agree with Kim on how Cross Keys gets the short end of stick re
building maintenance, renovations, technology.
Disagree with the lines were drawn to contain the hispanic population. I believe that the lines were drawn to up the low income percentages throughout the area. Conspiracy?
Try this on:
About the same time that the combined attendance area was created (approx 83-88) the following occurences were going on in adjacent areas.
1. Elementary school closures.
If you view where this occurred, the schools closed were the ones that most likely drew much of their attendance from nearby single family residential.
I state this due to their location: smack in the middle of the neighborhood. The former Northwoods Elementary sits right in the middle of the large Northwoods residential area of Doraville. It's now Yeshiva High School.
Similar instances occur with the closure of Skyland Elementary
( where you get your birth records from the state these days), and others nearby including Warren, and the elementary located off of Peachtree Industrial that housed students with behavioral problems.
Cross Keys/ Seqouyah district opened without two to three neighborhood schools in their attendance area. Instead, the schools that fed into them were all at or past title 1 status. Dresden, Carey Reynolds, Woodward,
Montgomery all were 70-98% free meals when we were looking at homes in the area in the early 90s.
Before and after percentages for Seqouyah free meals: 1988 12%
1994: 70%.
Effectively, there was no new
housing in the entire area during these years. It was all done with superconcentrating low income numbers throughout the area by closing down the non- title 1 schools, and sharing the "wealth"
( measurable poverty)througout the entire corridor.
If anyone thinks this was coincidental, consider the following. If this had occurred five years prior to this,many of these schools would not have had title 1 status. Why not?
Many of the complexes in the area were singles only. I looked in
the area back in 1984 when I moved to Atlanta. The complexes were upscale, nicely maintained and SINGLES only. They were also out of my price range.
The days of singles only complexes ended in 1986 with federal fair housing laws. There is NO SUCH thing as a singles only complex. They've been illegal for
25 years now!
The school board had two choices in 1986, particularly since their had been 4000 plus units constructed county wide each of the three years prior.
1. Leave attendance areas as they previously were to minimize the damage.
2. Smell the federal title one dollars, and do some creative poverty placement corridor wide to maximize them.
12% vs 70+ %, remember?
Federal dollars always seems to trump school viability in Dekalb.
PS Cross Keys is the extreme example, but similar instant Title one examples can be cited in the former Shamrock High School area also. The closing of Rehobeth Elementary turned Idlewood and McClendon into instant Title one schools.

Anonymous said...

Um....Montgomery Elementary was never at 70 to 90% Free Lunch - EVER.

Cross Keys opened years before Title 1 existed and had several neighborhood schools that fed into it, Brookhaven, Jim Cherry, Skyland to name a few.

How long does it take you to come with this nonsense?

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:07 If Montgomery never made title 1, I stand corrected.
BUT that's not what my dissertation was about. The topic was how instant Title 1 districts were created throughout the Buford Highway corridor.
When Jim Cherry, Skyhaven,Brookhaven fed into Cross Keys it was a highly regarded, affluent area. You can ask some former Cross Keys alumni. I think Richard Belcher graduated from CKHS back in the day.
A similar situation existed
at Seqouyah and it's attendance area prior to 1986.

NOW: Stir in 60 complexes, the majority of which were singles only. Subsidize them. Doing so gives a much higher chance of more units having children to send to the schools. Close down Sky Haven, feeding mainly single family residential to Cross Keys. Close down Northwoods, feeding single family residential to Seqouyah.
Check a before and after percentages at Seqouyah of free meals 12% as a high school, receiving from the single family residential and (mainly) singles only complexes in the vicinity.
Recheck after it becomes a middle school, receiving all of the housing single and multifamily over the entire Buford Highway corridor. None of rentals are singles only, as it's now illegal.
The percentage is now over 70%. All of this happened between 1986 and 1994, not a very long time in the scheme of things. Seqouyah became a middle school in 1987 or 1988.
In Dekalb County Schools you don't follow the money, you follow the lack of it. That's where the money is really at. Title one =$600
per pupil. Title one schools (greater then 40% free meals)=
BONANZA! New computers, new materials, additonal $$$$