Supreme Court Unanimously Upholds Removal of DeKalb Board of Education

gene-and-gavelFrom the AJC:

The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday unanimously upheld the law used by Gov. Nathan Deal to suspend members of the DeKalb County school board.

Deal had suspended six members of the nine-member board in February after the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools placed the district on probation.

Just before the ouster, the school district sued in federal court. Then, the board appointed by Deal removed the district as a plaintiff, but suspended board chairman Eugene Walker continued the litigation with independent funding.

The case was assigned to U.S. District Judge Richard Story who asked the state’s high court to answer two constitutional questions regarding the state law Deal used to remove the board members. The law authorizes the governor to remove school boards in districts on probation. Story asked if that law violates a doctrine that school systems be controlled by elected school boards and whether the General Assembly extended unconstitutional powers to the governor.

On Monday, the state Supreme Court said the law does not violate the constitution, telling Story, “We answer the questions of the district court in the negative.”

The court’s opinion was unsigned, meaning it was joined by all of its nine members.

Read the decision here >>

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40 Responses to Supreme Court Unanimously Upholds Removal of DeKalb Board of Education

  1. Ok, let’s take a look at the progress on the “DeKalb To Do List”…

    –Get beyond the criminal trials of Pope, Reid and Lewis. Check. (Pope and Reid were convicted and face sentencing – Lewis got off with a soft hand-slap in exchange for testifying about what in the end was only the fact that he was afraid Pat Reid was going to blackmail him about his affairs.)

    –Stop Druid Hills or anyone else from breaking off from DeKalb schools and forming their own Charter Cluster (as also recently approved into law). Check.

    –Stabilize the school system by making sure the Board and Admin seats stay warmed by the same people for an extended period. Check. (The board has now been approved by the Supreme Court, and Thurmond’s contract has been extended for at least another year.)

    –Settle or go to court over the civil case with Heery-Mitchell construction. (No check there yet — maybe this will be next).

    –Move over to the county government and get the corruption under control and eliminate the powerful CEO position. (No check there yet either but Lee May appears to be doing a pretty darn good job).

    The gavel has been hammered. The State has spoken. Like parents laying down consequences for an unruly teenager, the state has flexed its power over DeKalb County. Don’t anyone even TRY asking for the car keys Saturday night.

  2. Maureen has a very good synopsis of the decision on her blog:

    State Supreme Court: Governor had legal authority to oust six DeKalb school board members

    She quoted the following passage from the decision:

    “When the conduct of a board threatens the school system with an imminent loss of its accreditation, it matters not to the public or the children of the school system whether it is the fault of a single board member, the fault of every board member, or the fault of no one in particular, just an unfortunate result of well-meaning individuals who cannot or do not work well together. The imminent loss of accreditation is a failure of the board as a whole all the same.”

  3. The whole board should have included the recently elected members. After all, were they not referenced in SACS’ report? I haven’t the time nor the inclination to read the opinion. Does it address the two new members who were not replaced?

  4. Walter says:

    I’m not a fan of the former school board but I would advise you to change your cartoon graphic. It is easily misinterpreted.

  5. ?? Not sure how it would be misinterpreted Walter. Obviously, Gene Walker was clobbered. Is there another angle?

  6. dsw2contributor says:

    Walter makes a good point – A white judge slamming his gavel onto the head of a distinguished black leader is going to be interpreted very differently south of I-20 than in Dunwoody.

  7. Kenwoody says:

    I think we interpret it the same way “up in Dunwoody”.

  8. And that’s not what happened? Think about it. Of the six board members removed by the Governor, 5 were black. Of course, after the NAACP insisted, the Gov replaced them black for black, but with no regard for gender. Nancy Jester was the only white removed (she was replaced by a white man with no knowledge of the public school system). Of the three newly elected board members who were not fired by the Gov, two are white – and they represent powerful groups: Lakeside, Tucker and Druid Hills. These people still have access to an elected board member. No one else in DeKalb does. Their board members are beholden to the Governor of Georgia.

  9. Refugee from DCSS says:

    Make the judge african american and the problem is solved. If your biggest problem is a cartoon about a self-righteous race baiter whose best days are behind him, your life must be pretty easy.

  10. On the topic of race: Many of DeKalb’s issues are race-related. We simply have to work it out by honestly assessing it. The Druid Hills Charter Cluster was a race-issue to almost all black people in DeKalb (unless they live in the Druid Hills district). In addition, we have huge class-income issues in DeKalb – between the races and within the races. We have a hot mess of mistrust and feelings of inequity. DeKalb has a long history of race issues, and lived under a federal court order for nearly three decades. This is real. Read our recent post :: The Numbers Tell the Story and honestly assess where we are.

    The school system is down to less than 10% white students – even though the county population is almost 40% white. Private schools and private thinking has flourished. Public schools and dreams of balanced integration have all but gone by the wayside. DeKalb is a racial integration experiment that has failed. And the voters in the mostly black areas of DeKalb have had their voices silenced. As much as we didn’t care for Gene, Sarah, Zepora, etc – they were chosen by their communities to represent them in the school system. Their bad behavior is just part of their core personalities. In fact, we would even say that the newly chosen board rep Joyce Morley is just about as vocal and irritating. The jobs program was their interpretation of how things were always done when whites were in charge. That is also true regarding Crawford Lewis and Pat Pope Reid’s attempts to ‘buy’ cars at bargain prices from school system surplus. I’m not saying it’s all true or acceptable – but it is the perception. And we can’t just ignore it forever.

  11. sameoldsameold says:

    Stop arguing your point and change the graphic. It’s offensive and detracts from the message. This is about upholding the constitutionality of Deal’s actions, not a racial beat down. Please don’t add fuel to the fire!

  12. Yes. This is definitely about the Constitutionality of Deal’s actions. No argument there. The cartoon is simply the judge thumping the plaintiff. The race issue was in a few ‘beholder’s’ eyes. Although the cartoon is not about race, I am at least honest enough to admit that we have race issues in DeKalb (wouldn’t call it a ‘beat down’ though). There is no fire, just like your name says, it’s just the same old same old. If this story goes national, you can bet that it will not be a big positive for Georgia’s image.

    Anyway – I cropped out the judge completely. Now, it really is just the gavel coming down on Gene…

  13. concerned citizen says:

    The poor old guy is a man who used racism to do this system in, not by himself, by no means, but he did an amazing job of bringing DeKalb into the sewer and continuing to hold it down by force. He made his bed, now let him lie in it, or on it, or about it, or just lie some more, which he is doing even now! You finally got what was coming to you, EPW, and you really, really must go! (to quote the famous poem penned by a DWS2 contributor). So, please, ‘nufs, nuff. Please be so out of here in DeKalb County and move off ” up North”, possibly. I’m not talking about Gwinnett…

  14. another comment says:

    It is really unfortunate that the whole elected leadership of Dekalb County, Fulton County, Atlanta, Clayton County, along with the school district of Dekalb County, of Atlanta and Clayton have now been taken over by Blacks who consider themselves followers of W.E. Dubouis and the 10% rule of Black Eliteism. They only have concern for themself than their selected Friends and Family. Soriety, Brothers and Sisters, who are already members of the Black Elite. The remainder of the 90% of the Blacks do not have anything to offer in this school of thought. Certainly the Hispanic Immigrants have nothing to offer or the poor 10% of the 40% of the White population that continues to attend the Dekalb Schools.

    When I started working in Dekalb County in 1989, along the Clifton Corridor, the schools were still a bright light. You could still recruit employees to work along the promising Biotech and Educational Core of Dekalb of Dekalb, by they could live, and work close-in. Their children could attend good schools.

  15. another comment says:

    Part II During Leanna Levitane’s turn in office you could count on her attending every single ground breaking and dedication of every building on the Clifton Corridor. Her and Sam Nunn. When McKinney got in Office, did that area even have a Congress Woman, no! She was non-existant. But Sen Nunn would show, prior to his retirement, just as would Sen. Max Cleland during his turn.

    Then once Leanna was out of office and we had the first reign of Mr. CEO, forget about it. Mr. CEO’s reign of 8 years of destruction, he could not be bothered to even show to any ground breakings, Grand Openings over on the Clifton Corridor. Neither could Ellis. This area was once touted as being the next silicon valey of Biotechnolgy. Of being just like The area up in Boston around the Hospitals. It hasn’t happened like it should, despite CDC and Emory’s building campaigns. The private sector hasn’t moved in. Why the politics of Dekalb County. The lack of Schools.
    Even at CDC vs NIH recruiting a World Class Scientist. they are stuck with the same salary and benefits. NIH has great schools in Montgomery County, they have Metro stops.

  16. Jeff Bragg says:

    “another comment” @6:29 & 6:45: Whew! What a racist diatribe. First, as for W.E.B. Dubois–
    I have been a Socialist for 48 years and have read a lot of theory (too much). DuBois was a Communist and would NEVER have defended the greedy money-grubbing “lackeys of the capitalist class” who are running everything in DeKalb. Second– plenty of Black people in DeKalb, including teachers and staff who are NOT part of the F&F plan, and suffer just as much as everyone else, are appalled by the current situation. Third, my neighborhood, Druid Hills, used to give a majority to McKinney in her early days. She stomped Walker when the WHITE good old boys wanted to “gift” him an easy seat. Before Cynthia went off the radical deep end after her Daddy flipped into a stupid anti-Semitic rant, she came to my house in Druid Hills and had a heart-to-heart discussion with a mainly Jewish audience (which went well).

    More issues: Do you think the white good old boys were all honest? How about the last long-time white Sheriff, who went to prison for stealing hundreds of thousands via kickbacks on contracts to supply the county jails? And came home from prison to rejoin his wife, a county Judge. Do you think all the (mainly white) Realtors who panicked white residents of south DeKalb and then profited by blockbusting their neighborhoods when Blacks started moving in were simply eager business people? They profited from sellers AND buyers. Do you think the white school system Admins and Board members who resisted integration for an entire GENERATION after Brown versus Board of Education were “moral” people?

    Finally: Do you think it was Black people in DeKalb (or any other color in DeKalb) who prevented MARTA from expanding into Gwinnett and Cobb? Maybe if they had promised never to use MARTA to go outbound into “White Land”, and promised to always move to the rear of the coach the racists might have supported MARTA.

    I deliberately sent my daughter through the public schools when Druid Hills HS was already
    majority Black. I am still glad I did that, and so is my daughter. She now teaches in a mainly Black (and partly Latino) high school in Prince George’s County, Maryland. I taught for years at Cross Keys HS for years and will cherish to the end of my life the memories I have of wonderful Black, Latino, Asian, White, and mixed race (every mix you can imagine) students at Cross Keys. And of the diverse faculty.

    DeKalb and Georgia will NEVER escape the swamp of mediocrity until whites who blame Blacks quit living in an imaginary past. I used to tell my students at Cross Keys that “the good old days are in the FUTURE”. And Blacks who think every white person is a racist and “only see color” also must escape the paranoia and pain of the past. The young people of today that I admire so much from Cross Keys (and that my daughter admires in Prince George’s County) are very different and show tremendous potential for escaping this poisonous legacy. But we older people are doing enormous harm to this wonderful new generation by wasting time and money dragging old ideas through the mud and blood of history, while the youngsters need every helping hand we could offer– if we were not hating so much.

    ‘Nuff said, I’m starting to cry from frustration and sadness. Wake up people!

  17. howdy1942 says:

    We need to get off of the race issue. It makes no difference what color the members of the former board were. What SACS determined, what the Federal District Court determined, and now what the Supreme Court of Georgia determined is that this Board failed the People of Dekalb and, more broadly, failed the People of Georgia. Dekalb is one of the largest counties in Georgia and its school system is the State’s third largest. The State of Georgia cannot stand idly by and allow the education of 100,000 children in this State to be placed at risk by a school board, no matter what the color of the individual board members are. As has been pointed out previously, the graduation rate in Dekalb County is 57.8%. Think about that – that means that over 42 of every 100 kids in Dekalb County do not graduate from high school. And the unemployment rate for students who do not graduate from high school is just at 25%. The graduation rate in Dekalb County is appalling and this former school board was a major contributing factor to that statistic.

    I’ve attended many of the meetings of the former school board. They were dysfunctional, members were plain rude and disrespectful to fellow members (such as when three members simply got up and left when another members was speaking), they did not listen to the public (there was never any questions or any response), they willfully violated the requirements of the District’s accrediting agency, they purposefully interfered with the duties of employees of the school system, they failed to hire competent people for the position of superintendent (four superintendents in four years), they made excessive use of the power to enter into “executive sessions” in order to deny public observation and, most of all, they never seemed to focus on what is important to our students or teachers. Because of their incompetence, they frequently found themselves paying excessive legal fees to resolve matters that never should have reached the courtroom. They willfully violated the provisions of a contract it had made with teachers by abruptly cancelling contributions to a retirement program for teachers, contributions that would have been required by law had the teachers not been removed from Social Security. They built one of the largest administrative bodies in the State (based on administrative/teacher ratios).

    Dekalb County once was one of the best school districts in the nation, not just in Georgia. Today it is the only school district in the nation that is on probation. Dwell upon that for just a few minutes. I’ll end where I began – in Dekalb County, our most precious resource – our children – is at risk. Improving their educational experience if of far greater importance than any racial issue. We need to stop living the past and get our kids ready for the future.

  18. Jeff you are certainly right — by and large, the students are not the ones with the race issues. Bless you for all you gave to the students at Cross Keys! And bless your daughter for carrying the torch!

    ps – Isn’t it nice to live in a country that allows you to be a Socialist by choice?

  19. firstgradeteacher says:

    ditto howdy, since I don’t see a like button

  20. Here’s an interesting angle to the decision: Since it’s based on the accreditation agency threatening a loss of accreditation, then the law ‘could’ actually encourage school boards to drop accreditation completely – since being accredited is not a requirement of school districts under Georgia law. This would ensure that the Governor could never remove them as he has no other mechanism.

  21. And while I do agree with most of what you said, Howdy, the fact is that when DeKalb ‘was’ one of the best systems around, it was mostly comprised of white students. It was great for them – not so great for black students. We reposted an old AJC article on the subject in the comments of the post, “The Numbers Tell the Story“. I’ll dig it up and post it here. It’s interesting.

  22. Here’s a snippet of one of the articles – go to the Numbers post to read them in their entirety in the comments:

    M-to-M must end, critics say – Once a proud policy for school desegration, few can see any remaining advantages for DeKalb busing program.
    The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution – Sunday, May 2, 1999
    Author: Diane Loupe; Staff

    When DeKalb County started busing black children out of their neighborhoods to majority-white public schools 23 years ago, the school system was considered one of the state ‘s best — for white children, that is.

    Although the county had abandoned official segregation of schools, the majority-black schools remained neglected. Courts overseeing the county’s desegregation effort concluded there was inequality of opportunity between black and white students and ordered the busing program as a way of resolving that problem.


    Check out our FTE Enrollment and Capacity data under our Facts + Sources tab. This document is an old AJC report on the history of race in DeKalb schools enrollments.

    In 1976, the year referenced as ’23 years ago’ in the article, the system was 79% white and 20% black. By 1999, when this article was written, it was 12% white and 77% black. Today it’s 67% Black, 11% White, 14% Hispanic, 6% Asian and 2% Other.

  23. An interesting aside on the issue of race in DeKalb — From today’s AJC:

    Report: DeKalb juror questionnaire listed “slave” as occupation option

    By Mike Morris

    DeKalb County jurors filling out a new on-line juror questionnaire recently were shocked to find an ugly blast from the past when listing their occupation.

    In the midst of an extensive drop-down menu of possible occupations a juror could list was the option “slave,” according to a WXIA-TV report.

    The juror’s survey went on line about a month ago, WXIA reported.

    A court spokeswoman told the station that the list of occupations to choose from is 62 pages long, but she didn’t know how long “slave” had been on the list.

    “Slave” was removed from the list within an hour after the issue was raised with the county, the station reported.


    Now, if that isn’t embarrassing…

  24. dsw2contributor says:

    Some news from Brown Mill and Stone Mountain elementary schools, thanks to WSB-TV, Channel-2 News:

    Broken door post at Browns Mill Elementary leaves student with serious injury:

    Stone Mountain Elementary teacher accused of beating special needs elementary student with stick

    Arrest warrants issued for Stone Mountain Elementary teacher accused of abusing special needs students:

  25. Stan Jester says:

    Is anybody left to watch the hen house?
    Thurmond and Simama are cooking something up.

    12/02/2013 Board Meeting – C. 5. Permission to seek a State Grant to support the Establishment of a DeKalb County School District College and Career Academy

    04/23/2013 Tucker Parent Council
    Thurmond: ” I met with President Jabari Simama … We have been offered the opportunity to … setup a career academy in DeKalb County.”

    Jabari Simama
    Jabari Simama, who served as chief of staff under Ellis, is accused in the grand jury report of manipulating the committees that award contracts. The report recommends a criminal investigation into possible bid-rigging. Dr. Simama was selected as President of Georgia Piedmont Technical College by a search committee that included Gene Walker. Jabari Simama was inaugrated in 2013 at the same time Michael Thurmond’s name was listed on an Advisory Board to the Georgia Piedmont Technical College’s Foundation.

    Nisha Simama
    If you’re bored, check out Nisha Simama on Robert Stockwell’s blog who writes, “Clearly, she has adopted the national mantra espoused by anti-charter school organizations …”

  26. Another comment says:

    Richard Belcher just announced on the 6:00 news that Thurmond is going to recommend to the board that they immediately settle with Heery-Mitchell. This should be a good settlement for Heery. As Dekalb with the convictions and the testimony of Crawford Lewis which includes implying that at least two board members were aware of the malfeasance. Heery would be entitled to any payment owed, plus interest, lost profits through the end of the contract, all attorney fees and legal costs, plus punitive damages. Heery should also demand a public apology in the media that there was zero billing fraud, or any other problem with their work. They should also be given a written letter of outstanding performance by Dekalb County, since they are a victim.

    Remember, Mitchell already settled years ago. I was discussing with a minority contractor friend today, we all know that a settlement with Mitchell did not require Mitchell to pay anything and they were the 51% contractor.

  27. I knew that would be next! We are checking off the list at lightning speed — getting ready for SACS to take us off probation.

  28. howdy1942 says:

    Are the schools in South Dekalb or any of the students who live there any better off today than the students of 25 years ago?

  29. Fred in DeKalb says:

    **Are the schools in South Dekalb or any of the students who live there any better off today than the students of 25 years ago?**

    Interesting question howdy1942! How would you measure that? I’ve said many times that partially due to the loss of much of the manufacturing base in the metro Atlanta area (led by the closing of three auto plants), students that were not going to college immediately after high school yet possessed a strong work ethic had fewer opportunities. I would * guess* that more students are going to college (since so much emphasis is put in it) however we don’t know what happened to many of them once they get there.

    It is said that South DeKalb is one of the more affluent African American communities in the nation. There are MANY successful students attending and graduating from schools in South DeKalb every year. I will submit they have greater opportunities than those from 25 years ago, along with students throughout DeKalb. What they do with those opportunities is a choice each student makes.

  30. Fred in DeKalb says:

    Jeff, great comment on November 25, 2013 at 8:32 PM! I’ve always had respect for your comments, especially at Board meetings, even when I did not agree with them. I have always found you to be a principled person and that is what matters the most. It is easy to see that you care. Please continue to stay involved with the school system because voices like yours are desperately needed.

  31. concernedmome30329 says:

    Belcher is using sources to make the claim that Thurmond will be asking for a settlement

    Belcher doesn’t know the terms of the settlement. If I recall correctly, the last court ruling did not go Heery’s way– i am guessing that DCSS doesn’t necessarily walk away empty handed but I would bet money that the settlement doesn’t cover legal expenses incurred thus far.

    A friend told me, no idea how accurate it may be, that if Heery were to lose in court, they would not be eligible for future federal contracts, related to some question on the bid sheets. In some ways, Heery has the most to lose if this thing were to get to court — which is why they fought so hard to keep in out of court.

  32. Stan Jester says:

    High School Graduation Rates
    According to the GaDOE the 4 Year Cohort Graduation Rate for DeKalb is 57%. The high school graduation rate for Georgia is 67%. Middle and lower socioeconomic families would be more likely to have children that graduate from high school if they moved to Florida, South Carolina, Alabama or Tennessee where their graduation rates are 71%, 74%, 72% and 86% respectively.

    4 Year Colleges
    Melvin Everson, Director of GA’s EEOC, said the other day that in 2010 of all the universities in this country, we graduated more students with a Sports Medicine degree than we did engineers. The relevance to the rigor of going to UGA is fading. The average student coming out of a technical school makes more than the average student coming out of UGA.

    We have to graduate our children from high school and keep education relevant.

  33. Ned says:

    For the record the county population is something like 33% white, which is more like “more than 30%” than “close to 40%” and that’s the full population, not the school-age figures. That said, DSW2’s point 11/25 is largely valid.

  34. @Ned: It’s easy to find the data at the Census website:

    2012 numbers say DeKalb is ==

    White alone, percent, 2012 (a) 37.4%
    African American alone, percent, 2012 (a) 54.6%
    American Indian and Alaska Native alone, percent, 2012 (a) 0.6%
    Asian alone, percent, 2012 (a) 5.5%
    Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, percent, 2012 (a) 0.1%
    Two or More Races, percent, 2012 2.0%
    Hispanic or Latino, percent, 2012 (b) 9.5%
    White alone, not Hispanic or Latino, percent, 2012 29.9%

  35. howdy1942 says:

    @Fred and @DSW – Let’s see if we can come to a mathematical conclusion regarding the Dekalb School System of “now” vs. the Dekalb School System of 25 years ago.

    It is a given that the Dekalb School System of 25 years ago was ranked in the 95th percentile nationwide. Let’s make the assumption that there were 100 students living in Dekalb County 25 years ago, 70 white and 30 black. Let’s further assume that all of the 70 white kids scored in the 99th percentile and mathematically determine in which percentile the black kids would have had to have scored in order for the total Dekalb School System percentile to be in the 95th percentile. That can be stated in the following equation:

    (70) x (0.99) + (30) x (X) = (100) x (0.95)

    Solving for x, we get

    x = 86.66

    That says that if every white kid in the Dekalb School System of 25 years ago scored in the 95th percentile, then every black kid would have had to scored in the 86.66th percentile in order for the entire county to have scored in the 95th percentile. Now I again ask my question: Are black kids living in Dekalb County today better off than those of 25 years ago?

    My conclusion is that the answer to the above question is a resounding “no”. Since our school system is now on probation and our graduation rate is 57.8% compared with those of our neighbors as cited by Stan Jester above, then I would doubt that we are much higher than the 50 percentile at present.

    My hope is that Dekalb will come together and demand better governance and better leadership in order to just give our kids a chance. I would appreciate your responses and comments.

  36. DeKalb’s suspended school board members lose legal battle for seats

    Former DeKalb School Board Chair Eugene Walker says he will not appeal the Georgia Supreme Court’s Nov. 25 decision to uphold the law the governor used to suspend six board members.

    Walker says he doesn’t have the money to keep fighting a legal battle.

    “They’re big and strong, but they’re wrong,” said Walker, who filed a lawsuit in federal court saying the suspensions violated both, the U.S. and Georgia constitutions.

    “The Georgia Supreme Court has gone against the constitutional mandate that local voters are to decide who serves on school boards,” Walker said. “They have thrown the constitution out of the window and replaced it with political considerations. “The state constitution says that all school board members shall be elected. I want to appeal this decision, but I simply don’t have the money to do so.”

    … “The Nov. 25 ruling provides an added layer of security for students, parents, homeowners and business leaders all across Georgia,” Gov. Deal said in a released statement. “We’ve seen dramatic improvements in school governance after the state stepped in.”

    … Present DeKalb School Board Chairman Melvin Johnson said the ruling means closure for DeKalb students and families.

    “This decision means that there will be closure now. Everyone can look ahead now,” said Johnson. “Everyone can move forward now. This board can move forward and the citizens can move forward.”

  37. howdy1942 says:

    It’s good to hear that Eugene Walker will not continue his appeal. By dragging this matter out in the courts and keeping the State and Dekalb County in a state of uncertainty, he has shown his enormous selfishness and has been a significant disservice to our County, its residents and, most importantly, to our kids. My hope is that Eugene Walker will now just go away – he’s caused enough damage.

  38. Fred in DeKalb says:

    howdy1942, I love a good mathematical equation but even you have to admit the fallacies of what you shared. 25 years ago would be 1988. At that time, black students outnumbered white students in DeKalb however not by much. I recall it was the early to mid eighties when that shift occurred. You are also making an assumption that every white student made the highest score on a standardized test. While I’m sure there were many academically capable students, I doubt if everyone of them were geniuses.

    Humor me in this. I am a big baseball fan. It is said that Babe Ruth is the greatest baseball player of all time. He played during a time when blacks were barred from the major leagues. He also played during a time when social media was probably considered science fiction. He played in New York where I am sure some of his accomplishments were embellished in the media and without question many of his off the field activities were not discussed. Not to take anything away from Babe Ruth but would you still consider him the greatest player of all time in comparison to some of the players today? My point is it is difficult to objectively compare players (or students) from different eras.

    You said *It is a given that the Dekalb School System of 25 years ago was ranked in the 95th percentile nationwide. * Is it a given? How was that measurement done? How would you compare the rigor of 25 years ago to today? Is there data about the graduation rate from 25 years ago? Are we measuring the graduation rate the same way now as we did 25 years ago? I still contend that there was not the same emphasis on college prep as there is today thus more students today are continuing their education after high school. I say let some sleeping dogs lie.

    Speaking of baseball, anyone wonder if DeKalb was considered for the Braves stadium? Would anyone have wanted to see it here?

  39. @Fred: You don’t have to guess at the enrollment data – we keep a whole bunch of documents under our Facts & Sources tab:

    73,353 total students
    29,130 white 39.71%
    39,395 black 53.71%
    2,568 Asian 3.50%
    1,293 Hispanic 1.76%
    967 Other 1.32%

    Yes, things certainly have changed. The white student population is down to 11% and the Hispanic is up to about 14% these days. Black students now account for 67% of the total.

    Read >> The numbers tell the story.

  40. Fred in DeKalb says:

    @DSW, thanks for sharing the actual numbers regarding the makeup of the students in 1988. I know several students that graduated from DeKalb schools in the late eighties that did not go to college yet are considered middle class because they had skills that enabled them to get good paying jobs. How we determine whether today’s students are *better off* is very subjective, especially when we cannot compare like date.

    I agree, things have changed quite a bit since the eighties….

Comments are closed.