A report from the Tucker roundtable discussion

by BettyandVeronica

I attended the roundtable discussions at Tucker High School. A flyer was sent home with my child informing me of the meetings this week. It described the meetings as a way to “learn more about the status of current issues faced by the district and hear about new initiatives launching in the 2012-13 school year.” Parents were asked to email questions regarding their concerns.

After the 2 minutes from Dr. Atkinson’s division heads, it was clear that what their initial meeting agenda was changed. We were informed by Ms. March that it was a good thing that they got our email addresses on the way in so they could “get back to us” with regard the questions we submitted. You could actually hear the eyes being rolled in the audience. She made sure we all knew the chain of command though: start with the principal, then the regional superintendent and then if you still don’t have satisfaction, call her. Principals are apparently being skipped in this process.

We gave the area’s attending principals or their representatives a round of applause. Now, I love to put a name with a face but this was 5-10 minutes they could have used to discuss the many elephants in the room. (Calendar change, SACS investigation, Common Core differences, testing issues, financial issues, Organizational chart, you name it.) We broke into 5 groups and headed out to discuss their topics but not ours apparently.

We were given 4 four questions to answer:

What makes parental involvement so important in the schools?
What can be done to make others engaged in the schools?
What types of communications do parents want from DCSS?
In what way do we want that information delivered? How often?

Can you see the absurdity in these questions? Here they are asking parents who have yet again taken precious time out of their busy schedules to get some answers, only to be asked how DCSS can inspire more to do the same.

Here’s a thought DCSS, start by being honest and worthy of my time and trust. We wanted our questions answered, you asked for them. I am quite sure most of them had a very similar theme. I didn’t go to this meeting to tell DCSS how to get my apathetic or over-scheduled neighbors involved. I am involved, attentive and interested. Honor that, but don’t take advantage of my willingness to attend a informational gathering to tell you why I do it and then pick my brain on how you can do your job better. What nerve.

One of the biggest cheers came from the audience when one group said communications staff should be fired and new folks brought in. Also, when some echoed my sentiments here…why aren’t you answering our questions? Others felt we need to be sent an organization chart and HR data. Imagine that.

I took away three things from that meeting: One, Tucker High School looks fabulous. Two, the ladies and gentlemen of the ROTC that greeted the parents were outstanding, very impressive. They did a formal door opening for each person and cheerfully welcomed us and guided us to our next destination. They far out-shined the paid professionals in the auditorium.

And three, why are these people still employed?

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6 Responses to A report from the Tucker roundtable discussion

  1. Dr. Cheryl Atkinson, DCSD Superintendent, will host a series of parent roundtable meetings – one in each region – to help facilitate dialogue between families and the DeKalb County School District. These are open forums for all DeKalb County parents.

    Parents are encouraged to attend one of the sessions. Questions may be submitted in advance. Email questions to lillian_m_govus@fc.dekalb.k12.ga.us

    The meetings will take place from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at the following schools:

    * Monday, Oct. 15 – McNair High School
    * Tuesday, Oct. 16 – Tucker High
    * Tuesday, Oct. 23 – Redan High
    * Thursday, Oct. 25 – Lithonia High
    * Monday, Oct. 29 – Dunwoody High (LAST CHANCE!)

  2. ker1104 says:

    “I took away three things from that meeting: One, Tucker High School looks fabulous. Two, the ladies and gentlemen of the ROTC that greeted the parents were outstanding, very impressive. They did a formal door opening for each person and cheerfully welcomed us and guided us to our next destination. They far out-shined the paid professionals in the auditorium.
    And three, why are these people still employed?”

    I loved your take aways, especially #3. Excellent overview – although, sadly, not surprising. How are we ever going to improve education for our kids with this kind of leadership? I sure hope Atkinson gets your comments and actually reads them.

  3. concernforthekids says:

    Lillian Govus was asked about all of the questions that were/are being submitted via email. She stated to our group that all of the questions would be answered and posted online for public view.
    I think she stated that this would be done after all of the meetings. I will send her an email asking for the timeline for the questions and answers. Stay tuned.
    CFTK

  4. tenbsmith says:

    That would be funny if it weren’t so sad. Sort of like a catch-22 or some scene out of the Monty-Python movie Brazil. Rather than discuss what people want to discuss, first we have to have a discussion about the ways in which we can discuss what we might, at some point, discuss…

  5. I attended but left when I realized it would be a waste of time. However, I agree the cadets were marvelous. I know a lot about JROTC and wish others did too. It help students develop self-discipline, responsibility, leadership, integrity, and teamwork skills. It helps students discover the extent of their ability to adapt and also engenders pride in self. There is no obligation to join the military, but the program does lead to early advancement for those who later enter the All Volunteer Force.

  6. No Duh says:

    I didn’t go to the meeting because I knew it would be a waste of time (psychic, I guess). Thanks for confirming my suspicions.

    I was in Tucker High the other day for the Governor’s Honors Program interviews and agree the ROTC cadets were FABULOUS. They were the only ones who cared that it was completely unorganized and they did everything they could to get the parents and students where they needed to be — despite poor communications from the “adults.”

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