Saturday, August 20, 2011

DeKalb & NCLB: An Educational Gulag that harms low-income, minority children the most

Something to think about! Are our schools purposely trying to dumb down Americans? Labeling schools as "failures" and dividing communities is a good way to begin a road to destruction. Click here to view the rest of the interview with Charlotte Iserbyt if you find it interesting. She's a bit radical in thought, but I find her long life interesting and her knowledge of the destruction of education to have a ring of truth.

What is going on with our students criss-crossing the county to escape their "failing" home schools?

I'm not sure what happened between the Monday, August 1 board meeting, where Moseley reported that 689 students had requested AYP transfers...

NCLB - AYP Open Enrollment for Public School Choice concludes Thursday. 22 sending schools -- 10 receiving schools. Requests: 18 ES, 268 MS and 403 HS students.

...and Thursday of that week which ended the transfer requests, but today's AJC tells us that DeKalb leads the way by FAR in NCLB transfers -- 1,300 vs Bob Moseley's reported 689.

More than half the transferring students in metro Atlanta’s core counties are in DeKalb County, where about 1,300 have asked to change schools this year.

No Child Left Behind forces transfer decisions on school systems, parents

No Child Left Behind. "NCLB". It's a bill of goods.  I've heard it referred to as No Child Left Alone. President Obama has returned to referring to it by its proper name, "ESEA", the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. What does that mean? Could it be that the federal department of education is actually trying to create an "emergency" in order to take over our schools? Our children? Our minds? Our future?

Of all children harmed in this national brainwashing effort, the first to go down (the guinea pigs if you will) are the poor, the minorities, the Title 1 educated students whose parents believe the promise that the educrats in charge are doing all they can to bring them a chance at a quality education. But the opposite is happening.  The schools in these poor areas are losing their best students, losing enrollment, losing funding, losing access to quality instruction and losing ground.

What are they really getting?  Rote memorization for test results. Dumbing down of critical thinking abilities. Incomplete mathematical knowledge and decreased writing and comprehension abilities. Shallow learning via "word walls", "group projects" "games" and "benchmark testing".  They buy the promise that they have been "adequately" educated, and sent on their way only to find that they do not have the tools to rise out of the lower class. Eventually, many will find that they have only been programmed to serve as workers in a Gulag economy or flow through the pipeline to prison. Harsh? True? Do you want to take that chance?

No Child Left Behind is the biggest scam of the last century.  The federal government should not be meddling in the state's business of education. Our inner city schools are being decimated all over the country due to being labeled as "failing" by federal standards. How is this accomplished? By using small sub-groups to deem a school a "failure" and then offering a transfer (viewed as a golden ticket) to a "passing" school to anyone in the "failing" school.  Although it's a good idea to test and identify sub-groups who are not getting the education they deserve, the decision to offer school-wide transfers is far too punitive a response. Who takes the transfers? The bright students of course!  The others are left in an inferior educational environment which can attract fewer and fewer prepared teachers and involved parents–thereby enabling a vortex of destruction. And the students who transfer do not fare much better. In fact, 300 of our high school transfers to Druid Hills High School will never actually set foot in DHHS.  They will be housed at the recently closed Avondale High School and labeled the "annex" of DHHS. What kind of "solution" is that?!!

See this for what it is people.  Take back your home schools.  Insist on small classes and quality teaching. Insist on a deep traditional curriculum, AP and honors level courses and qualified instruction with a small teacher-student ratio (I'm thinking 1:12 or fewer) and the essential tools and materials necessary to do the work.  Who cares if your school "makes AYP" if you know in your heart that your child is learning to think critically in a traditional method led by a highly qualified teacher?

For more interesting videos on the subject, check out some of these dating back to 1992:
Public Education Dumbs Down Kids Part 1
Public Education Dumbs Down Kids Part 2
Public Education Dumbs Down Kids Part 3
Charlotte Iserbyt Speaking At The Zombie Country Conference
Download the free Ebook: The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America, by Charlotte Iserbyt
Raze Education Ghetto in South DeKalb
North vs Central vs South - what's the deal?


Anonymous said...

Maybe we should have people passing out copies of Dr. Blackwood's article at the meet and greet? There is no better description of the crisis we are in. Will Dr. Atkinson be able to understand it and address the problems head on?

Cerebration said...

She definitely will have a ramp up time, but I expect each and every one of you to contribute to her knowledge base. Tell her what you envision for your children, your schools and your community. Tell her you will not sit back idly and allow the school system administration to spoon feed shallow knowledge to our children. Tell her that you expect a quality, old-fashioned, thought-provoking education for your child and that you will be paying careful attention. Continue to give her feedback along the way - assess your school often and let her know what you think. Do not sit back and wait to assess her performance. Work in tandem. She works for you. The board works for you. You are their bosses. Tell them what you expect and then continue to assess and provide feedback. (Nicely.)

Octavius said...

I'm not big on conspiracy theories, but this is a thought-provoking topic.

My perspective remains local, although it's interesting that, perhaps for different reasons, many folks are arriving at the same question:

WHY are we putting up with this nonsense in the DeKalb County school system?

Certainly those with the means and inclination to go elsewhere will continue to do so. If the current trend continues, only the true crusaders and those without options will put their own children's education at risk. It's just too important to do otherwise.

Yet, we all pay for the dysfunction in a number of ways. For one, we already fork over significant amounts in property and other taxes to support this school system. We elect members to a board of education to make key decisions about how that system operates.

Are we getting our money's worth?

Are sensible and financially responsible decisions being made by those elected to be stewards of those funds?

Have these elected officials demonstrated that they are capable and willing to fulfill their responsibilities to the county they serve?

There is quite a bit of evidence to the contrary. We need to vote out the members of the current board and elect folks that can and will support getting the right people in the right jobs for the right price.

For whatever reason - fear, incompetence, or some type of conspiracy - the board members have collectively demonstrated that they cannot manage the selection and appropriate compensation of DCSS staff members, whether it's the superintendent, overly abundant administrators, etc.

It's time for a change.

Niceness doesn't really count.

teacher said...

When I left teaching in May of 2010, I knew that something wasn't right. Why are teachers who speak up against current policies that do not make sense and bring children down put down and told that they are trouble makers? Why is so much money spent with inferior results? Why are young teachers really unprepared for a classroom experience? Why are we teaching to tests and not providing a quality education that will enable our children to think and solve problems? Why are minority students/schools so targeted? Why do is our country norm now lowering expectations for students on what they should be able to do? Why are we not allowing our children to fail when they haven't worked hard and making sure that they have a false self esteem no matter what?

I watched these videos and will read the book, because as a former teacher my light bulb went off, and pieces of a troubling puzzle began to make sense.

I hope that many will look at these videos and really take a look at what is happening in their children's schools (even the "good" ones) and think critically. I hope that this sparks concern, a deep concern in parents, because as a former teacher who desperately wanted to impart her students with a quality education I was thwarted nearly every step of the way and watched many other quality teachers leave the profession in disgust.

Anonymous said...

DeKalb's strategy for hiding poor performing employees, was to spread them around, and they will get lost or absorbed within the masses. And, if no looks too close, we can protect our own get by. And DCSS uses the same play book for moving students, except that people are finally watching. There are no more places to hide. The so-called annexes are a joke. If these students really want to learn what is expected of them, then they would be better served staying in their neighborhood school, working with tutors. With "favorite" employees, and students, all DCSS is doing is moving, shuffling and relocating the problem/s, not solving. How ironic, as it is my understanding that DCSS is supposed to be teaching critical thinking and problem solving.

Anonymous said...

Looking back at the new super's contract. The addition of the extensive expense account is SO troublesome to me.

This account, with no receipts required, indicates to me that she can spend this money on things that have nothing to do with serving in her position as super, right? There's literally no follow-up on how this money is spent? Is this true? If so, how is this legal?

Anonymous said...

I heard a rumor that the students at Chamblee High School named the huge "learning village" the "Chamblee Gulag." How appropriate.

Also, I was surprised that the AJC article about NCLB transfers failed to even mention that DeKalb county had the nerve to assign many 11th and 12th grade students to Chamblee, an overcrowded school that did not make AYP and is being torn down. This this was done over the vigorous protests of the Chamblee community. Chamblee was once a great school but a weak administration has allowed the school to be controlled by the Palace gang and now the school has been run into the ground. Hopefully a new building and a new superintendent can right the ship.

Anonymous said...

DCSS didn't have much choice about using Chamblee, because Beasley and Berry didn't plan alternatives. The law requires that students are offered two choices and that every student from a Title 1 school can have a choice if they want it.

My understanding is that 400 students were invited to the annex and about 300 came.

I think that NCLB really is going to change this year, but if it doesn't, DCSS better have some new ideas because Chamblee et all will surely be in Needs Improvement by next year.

Anonymous said...

Chamblee students are fortunate that they are getting a brand new school. Temporary discomfort for a huge gain.

Lucky them.

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine anything more frustrating for a DCSS parent than to have to send their children to an overcrowded, poorly managed school when other DeKalb students are sitting in reasonably sized classes in magnet or theme schools. I would do anything I could to get my child into one of those nice schools.

SDOC Publishing Internet Solutions said...

Go back and read George Orwell's "1984" again. Similarities are eerie, aren't they?

Anonymous said...

American education was taken over by the liberals starting in the early 60s an even before. Feeling good and self esteem were substituted for teaching critical thinking and hard work. The system feeds on itself as the students taught that way become the teachers for the next generation.

My brother was a school superintendent in South Jersey in the 80s and 90s and we often would discuss the deterioration even then. He said then that the quality of teachers was declining. His teaching pool, for a largely white and Asian student population, was from some pretty good colleges in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. From where does DCSS get most of its teachers?

Cereb had better watch out saying that the Feds might really want to take over the school system. That is really radical (but might be true for the liberals). Just think, Maxine Waters, John Lewis, Hank Johnson et al in charge. Doesn't that inspire excellence in math and science?

I hate to say this but I really do think that some members of the DCSS BOE want a lowest common denominator type result that just passes. I do not think that they are pleased when Asian students at Chamblee get perfect SAT scores. They may be succeeding. Look at Dunwoody HS whose SATs have gradually been declining.

DCSS would never be in the vanguard of those trying to get rid of Federal participation. They are too enamored of the money received.

The culture of the DCSS and DeKalb Count leaders is not to do the best for citizens and students. It is to get the most possible for themselves and to create and maintain jobs for friends and family. Until that is overcome, it will be difficult to improve either DCSS or the Count government.

Gayle said...

"American education was taken over by the liberals starting in the early 60s an even before"

George W. Bush was the architect of NCLB and how has that worked out for us?

Anonymous said...

Charlotte Iserbyt's comments did remind me of the book 1984.

I don't think that this is just a Liberal problem. No Child Left Behind was the product of a Republican administration. NCLB has not helped our schools.

I know it would require an amendment to our state constitution, but I'm still in favor of dividing our school system into several smaller districts. We would have more local control over what happens inside our school buildings.

Cerebration said...

Charlotte Iserbyt puts a lot of blame on Reagan and the Carnegies. She goes back even further than that. I think the point to bring home here is to be aware. I have always stated that I have rose-colored glasses when it comes to the true character of Americans. We will rise up and things will swing back -- at some level, we all place a high value on our freedoms and our live and let live way of life - warts and all!

teacher said...

Here is another woman in Pennsylvania who is saying similar things.

Down loadable version:­ik_Who_controls_our_Ch.avi

You Tube version (6 10 minute videos)

Parents need to wake up about what is really happening in their schools-doesn't matter where your child goes to school--yes private school parents and homeschool parents need to be aware of what is going on-as private schools have certified teachers who are being trained to not really teach your child to learn while they are in college.

The more that I learn about this, the more I am able to clearly see why no one could answer my questions and why I was always tried to be shut down and made fun of to stop questioning what was going on. Children are being molded by the government and parents need to open their eyes.

On the 6th video, there is great information about why the government shouldn't be trying to take over the parents role as they are now. "Who owns the children?" "Our children lose as they don't have a school and they don't have a family. Or They lose out on a school, because they have a family." Her examples of WWII and the great depression, were ah ha moments for me.

teacher said...

I believe that Charlotte is trying to tell people that it's many people in the government-democrats, republicans, conservatives- and to really look at what a government official does and doesn't say and what they do and don't do.

She is telling people to wake up and realize that things are not always what they seem. That government money isn't free money and that strings come with it and is your child really benefiting from these programs.

Cerebration said...

Yes, and regionalization and consolidation do not benefit children's educations and do not save money. In fact, those kinds of initiatives break up communities, send students far from home and disenfranchise parents from the schools. Small systems with small schools are best --- with large systems you basically have taxation without representation.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous, 10:35 PM, August 20

I am in complete agreement with you. Please contact me via e-mail at Thanks!

teacher said...

@ Cere,

Also the NCLB transfers do the same thing.

Ella Smith said...

I think NCLB has actually been a good thing by making administrators take an interest in every child and every subgroup in the school building. This was not the case before NCLB.

I also think it needs to be revised and all the unreachable parts taken out and I believe a little more flexibility needs to be present regarding transfers. I would like to see mandatory tutoring and smaller class sizes first at the schools.

Title I money should be used to improve achievement instead of so many administrators' salaries. Having taught in DeKalb, Gwinnett and Fulton I noticed that the money does not get into the teachers hands for supplies in DeKalb like the other two counties. I believe we are still too top heavy and too much money is being spent incorrectly and not helping improve achievement.

I have seen teachers I teach with change the way they teach to make sure that every child in a high school class is able to master the state standards. By the way I do disagree with a previous post. Teachers should be teaching state standards and state standards are tested by state tests. For years teachers taught what they wanted to teach and did not play a great deal of attention to standards. Now we do have to have them posted. The students and we have to be working toward making sure every child has mastered the state standards. Some students need much more than this and need enrichment. However, we want all children to master the basic state standards and if you feel this is teaching to the test, so be it. Teachers are paid to teach state standards which are then tested by the state to see if teachers have succeeded. We will eventually be paid based on the performance of these scores. This is coming sooner than all of us realize. It is just around the corner.

Anonymous said...

If Georgia received the ESEA "waivers" that are being discussed, would that eliminate the school choice transfers?

Or will the waiver that the US DOE might give only apply to the requirement that all children be 100% proficient by 2014? If it does not eliminate the status of schools currently classified as Needs Improvement year 2 and the resulting requirement that these schools offer school choice transfers, then I don't see the benefit for DeKalb. We already have too many schools in NI2.

Anonymous said...

Couple observations, the first on NCLB:
The point of the law was to tell school systems that it's not okay for you to fail to educate cohorts of students because they are poor or foreign-born or come to school lagging behind. The corollary to this was that (theoretically) the federal requirements would force school systems to ensure its entire professional staff was effectively addressing student needs. The belief – mistaken as it turned out to be- was the schools that didn’t make AYP would be forced/inspired/motivated - because of that very public failing label – to change how they operated. Ineffective administrators would be terminated and ineffective teachers retrained, mentored or coached into another line of work. It was expected that school systems would begin to have very real debates about teacher quality which would in some ways circumvent union protections that preserved a teacher’s job regardless of performance. And remember: the thresholds for “passing” or making AYP are actually very, very low in terms of what each student must achieve on the tests. So while greater numbers of kids were supposed to pass every year – until everybody did – what constituted “passing” is hardly mastery.

DCSS’s response to federal oversight has been resistance and petulance. Instead of being forced to deal with the fact that ever-growing numbers of children were not learning, DCSS preserved adult jobs at every turn and complied only technically with the law. Moving children to annexes where they are essentially taught by the same teachers they would have had in their old schools was never, I’m sure, something George Bush and Ted Kennedy envisioned on their most cynical day. As long as DCSS had the wiggle room to pull in Title 1 dollars and create new jobs for adults – that only tangentially touched the educational transaction in the classroom – there was never going to be any meaningful change within this school system. And now I would say we no longer have the brain power to make this system functional. I hope Cheryl Atkinson is brilliant. I do. But she can’t compensate for the administrative black hole that exists with her deputy and on down thru area directors and into many principals’ offices. There are so many of them and only one of her. If she does attempt to make significant change, they will sabotage her anyway.

Second point:
With the Atkinson appointment an apparent done deal, it is fascinating to me how her supportive posters like the Lorainites have moved on to other things. This tells me all that was the work of PR flunkies – not parents who have a dog in this very, very dysfunctional fight.

Ella Smith said...

I believe that children from every school in DeKalb can achieve and master state standards. However, it will take the proper leadership at each school who is going to monitor instruction in the classroom. It will take the proper support from the county office. It will mean becoming more lean at the top and putting more bodies and money into our classrooms. There is money available to do this. If each parent had the money spent on their child they would almost have enough money to send their child to a private school. It is time to spend this money appropriately and get the best education for our children and stop being a employment service for the friends and family of certain clicks in the school system. It will take a strong school superintendent to overcome the problems this employment service has caused.

teacher said...

NCLB has not improved education in our poor schools or truly any schools for that matter. I don't care what politicians say the reason for NCLB was. The results have been a dumbing down of our children-yes even those from middle and upper class families and those that go to "good" schools. Schools were teachers are not able to hold children accountable for their actions or learning. Teachers who want to teach and provide a good education required to teach to the tests or they are black balled and called names to make them look bad.

For those parents that think their children go to good schools and that they are being educated, it's time that you wake up. Your kids are being taught to take tests that really don't show learning, problem solving, or intelligence.

NCLB has been a farce. I worked in education before it began and while it was a mandate, and my ability to teach and provide a quality education was greatly lessoned by NCLB, so much so that I really wasn't teaching children or allowing them to enjoy learning, but was required to have them regurgitate information.

The woman from PA explains some of the tests that your children are taking without your knowledge. Your kids are being indoctrinated and it's time that you wake up.

Anonymous said...

"Title I money should be used to improve achievement instead of so many administrators' salaries. Having taught in DeKalb, Gwinnett and Fulton I noticed that the money does not get into the teachers hands for supplies in DeKalb like the other two counties. I believe we are still too top heavy and too much money is being spent incorrectly and not helping improve achievement."

I agree. Title 1 funds are not used in an efficacious manner in DCSS. Audria Berry, the Executive Director of the Office of School Improvement, has not made academically effective decisions on the expenditure of literally hundreds of millions of federal dollars for the Title 1 schools. She has had 6 years as the head of this office since Dr. Lewis promoted her in 2006. Students deserve decisions that move them forward academically. It is time for new management at the helm of the Office of School Improvement.

The fact that we have so many transfers from schools that are in the Needs Improvement category is one measure of the ineffectiveness of this department.

Cerebration said...

Anon 9:30 you are exactly correct.

The belief – mistaken as it turned out to be- was the schools that didn’t make AYP would be forced/inspired/motivated - because of that very public failing label – to change how they operated. Ineffective administrators would be terminated and ineffective teachers retrained, mentored or coached into another line of work. It was expected that school systems would begin to have very real debates about teacher quality which would in some ways circumvent union protections that preserved a teacher’s job regardless of performance.

DCSS has definitely spent an inordinate amount of energy and money fighting the mandate to make changes to the way we educate students. Instead, they have done back flips in order to preserve jobs -- and even promote into jobs for which the applicant is not qualified.

We have to allow our new superintendent the power to properly staff every department - with the goal of improving student achievement, not protecting jobs. It's not about the adults - it's about the students. We need to weed out the bad teachers, hire a PROFESSIONAL PR administrator (I like Jamey Wilson, but he is a former principal, not a PR professional from the business world) and start hiring the best and brightest from colleges around the country. A lot of our problems are due to poor quality teachers (the good teachers know who the poor ones are and would like to see them replaced as well), poorly trained and poorly equipped principals and APs and too much money spent in the admin on "coaches" and other staff who do not directly impact students.

Hopefully, Dr. Atkinson will not only quickly assess the situation, she will begin to make necessary changes in order to bring about positive changes in student learning, and the board will endorse those changes and actions to the fullest.

There's a lot of work to be done in order to unwind the damage inflicted on this system by Dr. Lewis and crew. I hope you all write down your suggestions and not only share them with Dr. Atkinson, but help her 150% to implement the changes needed. She (and we) will be met with very strong internal resistance. She will need the full backing of the board, the parents and the communities.

Ella Smith said...

I do not see jobs protected at all in Fulton County. Regardless of the years of experiences teachers are let go.

DeKalb seems to have a problem with this.

I see teachers becoming better teachers today. I do not see things getting worse at all at the school I teach. However, things continue to get worse in DeKalb County. I do teach at a very diverse school which does get Title 1 funds. I know things could happen in DeKalb at all there schools with the right administration.

Anonymous said...

I don't agree. These failing schools failed for two years when these so-called "bright" students were enrolled. If these schools fail for two years, I cannot find any fault with the parents whatsoever to transfer motivated, achieving children - their lives and future are at stake. The simple truth is schools that fail our children over an extended period should be changed. Principals, superintendents, teachers, and staff should be removed or the failing schools closed.

I follow the Dekalb County School System closely and recently have viewed several TV interviews conducted by interns with principals and other school officials. In each case, the principal was grossly overweight and all but one teacher was overweight. How can these people teach health and science with a straight face? If they don't care about their personal appearance, do we really think their mental performance is any better?

Look at our school board. I have looked at them over a long time. With the exception of possibly Nancy Jester, they don't look like school board members, they don't talk like school board members, they do not inspire or motivate, and they are dull. Their questions are shallow and they seem to be disconnected from the school system. It would be really interesting to know how many students and percent of the total within each school board member's respective district are seeking transfers under NCLB. Those results ought to be published. I would welcome the comments and explanation of the school board members involved.

Anonymous said...

There are some major flaws to NCLB. One major flaw is that fact that there are 2 options available for students in schools that are classified as "Needs Improvement". One option which seems to be favored by parents is to transfer their child to a "performing school" and the 2nd is to offer tutoring to the student.
Some things that concern me about NCLB: 1) EVERY student in the school that was deemed "Needs Improvement" is allowed to transfer to another school even if the child requesting the transfer met standards. 2) The same is true even if the child requesting the transfer is not a part of the subgroup that did not meet standards. 3) The first and in many schools only solution that parents know about is transferring to another school. 4) The majority of the students who did not meet standards ever explore the option of "FREE" tutoring.
The following website provides information on an option that is rarely explored:
Clayton County Schools reports on the website their findings of the number of children who are eligible but not taking advantage of the program. Not sure what the numbers are for Dekalb

In the 2010-2011 school year 14,377 children were eligible in Clayton County Schools to receive Supplemental Educational Services (SES). 2,070 students were approved to recieve SES, but only 1,120 children took advantage of the services.

The following are changes that I think should be explored BEFORE transfers are granted.
1) ONLY the students who did not meet standards should be granted the right to transfer, AFTER the student has spent 1 year enrolled in the FREE tutoring program. This will help the child improve his/her skills. Moving a child who is struggling is not going to help the child or the school he/she is moving to. DCSS needs to work on strengthening the home schools by helping the children who need help and stop putting a Band-Aid on the problem only to allow the wound to explode at another school. I was a parent at Sagamore Hills and I know that tutoring helps children. When Joe Reed was there it was a part of the program. Fortunately, Julie Martin realized that some ideas Joe had were good and we need to keep them in place. Some children struggle in large group setting especially if they are struggling with reading English. How do you expect a child who cannot read to correctly answer a word problem, which requires critical thinking, written in a language they don't understand.
I think the Triage plan that the county is putting in place could be a viable option if they really work with the children. They can provide tutoring as an option. Children CAN LEARN if given the right tools.
I know that tutoring can make a difference. My child attended Kittredge and I was amazed at the “EXTRA” support the children receive at a school for High Achievers. Every teacher had set days for tutoring each week. Many of the children took advantage of the extra help. If DCSS requires that the program offers extra help for children who are making 100% on CRCT, then why in world would they not make it a standard at schools that need help. It is almost impossible for a child to flunk out of Kittredge because they are given tools for success.
I realize that these options will not solve all the problems with the school system, but the school system need to take advantage of the resources that are available and build up our local schools. Look at what is working in the schools that are doing well and structure and implement them in our schools that are failing. Wake up DCSS. IT IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE!!!!

Anonymous said...

"No Child Left Behind"... because NO ONE is going anywhere!

Get the Cell Out - ATL said...

If interested, please see a similar post on the subject here:

Ever think the kids are being shuffled around so much because NONE of our schools are serving the students well? What will happen when we all realize that we've tried ALL the other kinds of grass DCSS has to offer and NONE of it is any greener?

Anon said...

Someone commented on tutoring at Kittredge and Sagamore. Pace has its teachers stay for a mandatory 40 minutes everyday after school to help the kids who need help. They have a resource center for the kids to go and get help. They have kids available to help kids who need help and then they have outside tutors to refer people to if you need more help. So, if the really good schools offer extra help by the teachers, why won't our really weak school put extra resources, in compliance with the law, into tutoring the children and into small class sizes (which are also being utilized at Kittredge and at the good private schools)? This is insane and I think nearly criminal. It's time for folks to wake up and demand more for your child rather than just moving them across town. Your school should be providing what Kittredge is providing.. that was the intent when Kittredge was set up and that is what should be happening across the board. Title one money should be being used for those purposes.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon August 22, 2011 4:18 PM

I was the person who commented on tutoring at Kittredge and Sagamore. You are correct IT IS CRIMINAL what is happening. I think that it is time for the entire Board to be removed. We need people who are forward thinking and not stuck in the past. I don't umderstand why tutoring is not the 1st option instead of transferring. When my daughter was at Kittredge I realized that what they are doing there is nothing special. It is a requirement that the teachers offer extra help to the students who need it. They understand that in order for them to maintain their status as a "great" school they need to do more. Just because a child attends Kittredge it does not mean that they don't have challenges, some do and the school WILL NOT ALLOW a child to fail without knowing that they did everything possible to help the child succeed. If only our administration would adopt the same principles more children would be successful.

Anonymous said...

Folks, tutoring is indeed the first thing offered to students in schools that do not make AYP. But it is truly an "option" and it is voluntary. DCSS received a waiver and the first year a school is in Needs Improvement, the school system must offer tutoring (I think it is after school). Transfers are not offered until the school is in Needs Improvement year 2.

I think the question is whether the school system is trying hard enough to encourage parents to take advantage of the Free tutoring program. I do not think so.

They should have the best tutors come to the schools and meet with parents AND students throughout the year. They need to have flashy brochures and students and parents volunteer to tell success stories. They need to find a way to make the tutoring more accessible during the school day. Most important they need to carefully screen the tutors and vendors and eliminate the poor tutors and eliminate any conflicts of interest with the tutoring companies.

Anonymous said...

@August 22, 2011 7:47 PM

Unfortunately, it is not the first option presented at ALL Deklab County Schools. I have children who attend school in South Dekalb and thry were in a school that did not meet AYP. We were told that the options we had were to transfer under NCLB. I have a nephew who fell into the category of not passing math and he was not given the option of having a tutor. He has a learning disability and NOT A SINGLE ADMINISTRATOR OFFERED TUTORING AS AN OPTION! Instead they suggested that his mom look into NCLB transfers because they did not want to deal with the problem. His mother pulled him out of DCSS and put him in a private school and he is making great strides. He has made up that which he missed and yes he has a tutor who works with him 4 days a week.

Anonymous said...

Tutors and NCLB info:

Could it be that DCSS doesn't want to part with the funds, as they are used to hire Friends and Family?

Anon said...

to 8:50 pm: Ahhhhh......yup!!!

Anon said...

Actually, I wonder if there's a class action law suit for the kids in the non-AYP making schools who were not offered tutoring? What about for those who were put into the little villages that were "offshoots" of schools? Maybe Cere should start a column and we can figure out a way to collect possible plaintiffs for such an action....

Anon said...

We'll call it educational malpractice....

Anonymous said...

Tutoring by private vendors is available and is listed as an option in all the NCLB brochures and letters that are sent each year. I have all of them for the last 4 years. Check this years' information on the public school choice webpage. SES = Supplemental Educational Services = Free tutoring.

However, parents and students have to sign up for tutoring and the student has to show up.

Again, in other counties parents use the free tutoring. In DeKalb many parents think if their child just goes to a different school - one that makes AYP - that their child will do better. Not true.

But some of this is DCSS' fault. They do not explain or promote the tutoring option.

The free tutoring is provided through federal Title I funding. It's your tax dollar - use it!

SHS said...

@ Anon August 22, 9:23 PM

"Actually, I wonder if there's a class action law suit for the kids in the non-AYP making schools who were not offered tutoring? What about for those who were put into the little villages that were "offshoots" of schools? Maybe Cere should start a column and we can figure out a way to collect possible plaintiffs for such an action...."

Cerebration [Cere] is a volunteer who, several years ago, saw a need and filled it with this DeKalb School Watch blog. Cere puts in untold hours each week, on a daily basis, managing this blog while trying to earn a living and take care of family. Cere makes NO money off of this blog.

Without DeKalb School Watch we would not know even a fraction of what we now know about the inept BOE, the overpaid, under-talented Palace staff and the high level of dishonesty, arrogance, incompetence and thuggery -- all of which define DCSS.

In fact, thanks to Cere, we know which BOE members MUST go. More than that, we know which state and county officials MUST be voted out of office, as well. These people include the state superintendent of education, the state attorney general, the DeKalb district attorney and DeKalb's state and Congressional legislators -- to name the most obvious. These are people who, in spite of all documentation of incompetence, fraud and other wrongdoing published in DeKalb School Watch, have mostly turned a blind eye and have taken no significant steps to provide DeKalb taxpayers -- and DeKalb's children -- with any relief. If they cared, they would reach out to DeKalb taxpayers through DeKalb School Watch, they would act on the information provided herein and they would publicly support BOE members Nancy Jester and Don McChesney who have the courage to speak truth to power.

So, before you suggest that Cere should "start a column", stop and recall everything Cere has done and continues to do. Then, step up and volunteer to start the column -- and keep it going --yourself. Contact Cere at reparteeforfun[at]

Anon said...

Better beware... you never really know what the anons are really doing behind the scenes....

Cerebration said...

Hey! The Pope agrees! We need to return to higher level thinking - not job training for the future! Here are the closing remarks from his speech to college professors:

I urge you, then, never to lose that sense of enthusiasm and concern for truth. Always remember that teaching is not just about communicating content, but about forming young people. You need to understand and love them, to awaken their innate thirst for truth and their yearning for transcendence. Be for them a source of encouragement and strength.

Pope Benedict to professors: spread the Truth!

teacher said...

Reading THE DELIBERATE DUMBING DOWN OF AMERICA, by Charlotte Iserbyt. I implore every parent who cares about their child's education to read it. It will definitely open your eyes to what is really happening in your child's school, how teachers are trained, and why our education system is lacking behind so many countries. As a former teacher, it's all making sense to me. I realize why those like myself who speak out about what is happening in our schools are called names and blackballed. We aren't fitting the mold and pushing the government agenda.

My father's family is of German descent. My father is a first generation American on his father's side. My great grandfather was a highly decorated officer in Germany after WWI. He watched the rise of Hilter and got my grandfather out before he was taken into the SS army. My great grandfather, father, and other German immigrants would often come and speak about the rise of Hilter on a Sunday dinner at my grandparents' farm. My father secretly listened to these conversations, and would tell us what he learned growing up. Reading this book and the many government documents in the book has my brain making connections between what is happening in education and how Hilter was able to rise into power.

Our children are being brain washed, so that they can be manipulated later on.

Please go to Charolette's web site and read the free version. Hopefully it will open your eyes as well, so that you can see what is going on in education, not only in DCSS, but around the country.

Anon said...

re: teacher's comment -- this is why I feel so strongly that everyone needs to wake up and pay attention to some of the financial connections that have come to light that may exist between DCSS and NB and Dr. Atkinsons' possible ties to NB -- what you said registers very true -- I want to see us educate and raise 100,000 children ready, willing and able to take on and run our country the way our funders meant it to be and not a country the way Hitler or Stalin envisioned theirs to be. Unfortunately, I believe that we're headed in the wrong direction and the bad guys are winning. The worse part is -- the cost to us taxpayers is currently $100 billion per year -- and that doesn't begin to cover the long term costs of the the welfare system that will be built up and/or the prison network we will need at the rate that we are headed in.

teacher said...

While doing further research on this topic, I decided to read a book that Charlotte recommended "The Lipzig Connection" by Paolo Lionni

I read this today and it really struck a nerve:

Thorndike based conditioning on what he called the "law of effect," which held that those actions and behaviors leading to satisfaction would be impressed, or stamped in, on the child, and those leading to unsatisfactory results would be stamped out. Thus the only way to strengthen a child's "good" response is by reinforcing it, and the only way to eliminate a child's "bad" response is by denying it.

This theory creates certain problems for the educator. Should the child, for example, not want to learn his multiplication, the teach will have to find some way of making multiplication pleasurable and rewarding, or the child just won't learn it. Similarly, if the child enjoys tossing pencils at his classmates, he will have to be instructed, by denying him pleasure, that such a "behavior" isn't permissible. THIS THINKING FAVORS A SOCIETY WHICH OPERATES MORE ON THE BASIS OF GRATIFICATION THAN ON BASIS OF REASON OR RESPONSIBILITY. CHILDREN EXPECT TO RECEIVE WHAT IS PLEASURABLE, AND WHAT THEY DESIRE, BECAUSE THEY HAVE LEARNED IN SCHOOL THAT WHAT IS PLEASURABLE IS GOOD, AND WHAT ISN'T PLEASURABLE ISN'T GOOD. This is an inheritance from the stimulus-response teaching developed by Thorndike and transmitted to hundreds of thousands of teachers through the medium of "educational" psychology. PREVIOUSLY, OF COURSE, GOOD BEHAVIOR WAS CONSIDERED ITS OWN REWARD; THE IDEA OF REWARDING A CHILD FOR BEHAVING LIKE A HUMAN BEING WOULD ONLY OCCUR TO SOMEONE WHO SUPPOSES THAT THE CHILD IS BASICALLY AN ANIMAL AND WOULD HAVE SEEMED LIKE AN OPEN INVITATION TO BLACKMAIL ANY SENSIBLE 19TH-CENTURY PARENT.

pages 33-35

The more I read about this, the more I understand why our kids do not want to learn. And why we have some in our society who are perfectly happy receiving their government assistance without doing anything in return. Today's society is finally making sense to me, and it's frighting.

Anonymous said...

I watched the documentary "Agenda:Grinding America Down" last night. It also shows how our schools and way of life have been infiltrated by progressives in a way to change our society.

With the Israeli embassy in Egypt being taken over by the Egyptians in the past day, the fall of Euro looking more likely to happen, what do you think is going to happen in the US? When do you think the violence will come here? Do you really understand what is happening in our government and who really is in power? You'd probably be surprised.