DeKalb students’ test scores lowest in metro

A new article at the AJC informs us that yet again, DeKalb posted the lowest test scores on the 2013 College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) of all area metro systems. Mark Elgart just restored accreditation, emphatically claiming that he cares very much about student achievement and takes it under consideration when accrediting schools. However, the reality of these scores are not congruent with Elgart’s public claims and his endorsement of our school system leadership. There is no accountability to students – except that now, Superintendent Michael Thurmond [seemingly taking leadership lessons from Bev Hall] has publicly stated that teachers’ salaries will not increase until test scores improve. Now, there’s a management technique that will send the rest of the highly qualified teachers running for the hills!

Elementary and middle school performance improves while high schools dip on state report card

By Rose French and Ty Tagami
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Walton High School was the top-performing high school in Cobb County for the 2012-13 school year, according to state education data released Monday.

… Schools and districts are receiving grades today through the state’s College and Career-Ready Performance Index, which uses factors like student test scores, academic progress and closing the gap in performance between groups of students to spit out a numerical grade of zero to 110.

Among districts in the heart of metro Atlanta, Atlanta Public Schools got higher grades on the elementary, middle and high school level. Cobb was up on the elementary and middle school level and down on the high school level. DeKalb was down on all three levels. Fulton was up on all three levels. Gwinnett was down on the elementary level and high school level, but its middle school grade was up.

…Search our interactive database at MyAJC.com to see how your school scored.

Click here to read more.

Check the state’s database directly here >> http://ccrpi.gadoe.org/2013/ccrpi2013.aspx

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86 Responses to DeKalb students’ test scores lowest in metro

  1. Word Wall says:

    Good thread! I love the math about actual spending….DSW2 shows that Cross Keys got a ten point improvement with less that $5000 per student, while the “mini boutiques” at the Early College and Arts Magnet schools get nearly $7000 per student….

  2. Right WW. Add to that, these small boutique schools also offer that coveted low class size (15-18 at DSA) and low student-counselor ratios (Conversely, Lakeside students average 400-500 students per counselor), — you would expect these small schools that hand-pick their students to do better due to their advantages in application, spending and student support — of course! Imagine the results if ALL students got this kind of focus and personalized attention!!

  3. @DSW2Contributor: Interesting to blame this on Atkinson (not that she’s blameless). Where were you when test scores plummeted under Ramona Tyson (who is still a very highly compensated administrator)? Are we to believe that ‘all is well’ now that Atkinson is gone? That sure smells like a goat.

  4. Word Wall says:

    With an extended interim political figurehead with zero education credentials heading the Palace, who do you think is writing policies about class size waivers, teacher furloughs and no staff raises until three years or 60,000,000.00 dollars?… Whose policy has always been: “Protect the $250,000 jobs at the Palace at all costs?….”

  5. Gregory Walker says:

    dsw – salient point and exactly why the teachers are the first to be cut/suspended as well: if you make small cuts there (furlough, etc), it multiplies out so quickly that you’re talking about ‘real money’ fairly quickly. (And, for the record, I’m totally behind DSW’s point – I’m just pointing out the inverse).

  6. @Gregory: That’s why Ramona is quoted as saying “we have to go after the big nuts” when making her $80M in cuts (to everyone but herself and insider circle).

  7. Word Wall says:

    When Crawford Lewis checks into the old “Memorial Drive Hilton,” I hope his cellmate was one of those who were crowded into dingy Dekalb HS classroom trailers — with ragged textbooks and zero disciplinary consequences…They can have nostalgic talks — about RICO’s taxpayer funded cars, credit cards, Masters’ golf tickets, Atlanta Hawks tickets, quarter million dollar salary — and the fine “Premier Dekalb” management and education philosophy.

  8. DSW @April 23, 2014 at 11:46 AM challenged me with: “Interesting to blame this on Atkinson (not that she’s blameless). Where were you when test scores plummeted under Ramona Tyson (who is still a very highly compensated administrator)?”

    The CCRPI data released on Monday tells two stories:

    (1) how DCS performed as compared to other GA school districts

    and

    (2) how DCS performed in the 2012/13 school year as compared to how DCS performed in the 2011/2012 (prior) year.

    The first story, how DCS compares to other districts, is not actually news. (DCS continues to fail and remains dead-last of the local districts.)

    The second story is actual news: DCS performed worse in 2012/13 than it did in 2011/12, at all three levels (elementary, middle & high). In other words, DCS went in the wrong direction from 2011/12 to 2012/13…. and DCS is the only local school district that went in the wrong direction at all three levels.

    Atkinson was hired on August 27, 2011, per Maureen (http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2011/08/27/dekalb-school-chief-finalist-meets-parents-saturday-children-come-first/) and DSW1 (http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/2011/08/defining-cheryl-atkinson.html). The 2011/2012 school year was already underway, so Atkinson and March were not able to fully institute their changes until the following school year.

    I looked up the CCRPI for a school where Atkinson & March removed an experienced, high-performing DCS Principal and gave one of their out-of-state cronies the job. (Their crony didn’t even last a year at Principal, if I am remembering correctly.) According to the GA-DOE’s data, that particular school had a big drop in performance after Atkinson removed the experienced DCS Principal.

    We also know that Atkinson personally profited from selling out Dekalb children to the “Success for All” foundation. Maureen reported on this in her blog post from February 28, 2013, “Cheryl Atkinson takes new post after DeKalb: Success for at least one” (http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2013/02/28/cheryl-atkinson-takes-new-post-after-dekalb-success-for-at-least-one/) Now, Atkinson’s linked-in profile (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/cheryl-atkinson/66/b98/743) says she is now “Vice President at Success For All Foundation”.

    Anyone have a list of all the DCS schools that Atkinson and March made do “Success for All”? I’d like to compare those schools against the schools that were not sold to SFA.

  9. P.S. Here are three news reports from three years ago, in April 2011:

    “WSB-TV: Source: Superintendent Pick Has ‘Platinum-Plated’ Demands” (http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/source-superintendent-pick-has-platinum-plated-dem/nJbkP/)

    “WSB-TV – All 3 DeKalb Superintendent Finalists Withdraw Their Names” (http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/all-3-dekalb-superintendent-finalists-withdraw-the/nD97c/)
    and

    “WABE – All Three Dekalb Superintendent Finalists Withdraw” (http://wabe.org/post/all-three-dekalb-superintendent-finalists-withdraw)

    The candidate we did not hire, Dr. Lillie Cox, went on to become superintendent of the Alamance-Burlington School System, in NC — she started there in July 2011. Dr. Cox was named a finalist for the 2014 Women in School Leadership Award, presented by AASA, the School Superintendents Association. That’s all according to this University of North Carolina web page:
    http://soe.unc.edu/news_events/alumni_news/2013/131009-lillie-cox.php

    It’s heartbreaking to compare her to what we did get. Thanks to a board member leaking Cox’s name, DCS ended up with a crappy Superintendent (Cheryl Atkinson) and she worsened an already-poorly performing school district. The new CCRPI results show just how badly Atkinson worsened DCS.

  10. @contributor: Didn’t mean to sound like a ‘challenge’… and we certainly don’t disagree that Atkinson was a disaster (we have Gene “I see color” Walker to thank for her tenure). And the fact that she spent literally millions on a horrible reading program, eventually landing herself a cushy job there, is practically criminal. We will always wonder what was in those text messages… it must have been really bad – it caused her to go AWOL. On top of that, she said she was going to buy one to one laptops and thus stopped spending on textbooks – but of course, she never bought the laptops either! Nice to balance the budget on not purchasing textbooks — for a SCHOOL SYSTEM!

    However, given all that – Ramona Tyson was a complete disaster for student achievement too. As was Lewis (the king of the jobs program) before her. Now, we have little faith that a politician is going to be any better – especially considering he is paying a law firm $50,000 a month to advise him and his board, since obviously they have no ability to manage without big legal help.

    Sigh!

    People – it is critical to vote on MAY 20! The next board will hire Thurmond’s replacement and God-willing, we can find an experienced, capable, educationally-trained, fair and fearless leader for the children of DeKalb!

  11. @contributor: Thanks (I think) for sharing the news about Lillie Cox. Another candidate that was sabotaged, Dr. Duron, has gone on to be an educational leader in the state of Texas.

    Again, sigh!

  12. momfromhe11 says:

    @ Decatur Max Remember Marshall Orson brought us Mr. Thurmond and extended his contract. Please don’t re-elect him. A new school at Fernbank was really important to him.

    District 2 includes Druid Hills and Cross Keys High Schools, Druid Hills Middle School, Ashford Park, Briar Vista, Fernbank, Laurel Ridge, McLendon, Montclair, Sagamore Hills and Woodward Elementary Schools, the International Community School and the Margaret Harris Center.

    Has anyone from any of the attendance areas BESIDES Druid Hills (HS and MS) and Fernbank ever gotten help from him? Has he dropped by?

  13. Word Wall says:

    How’s this…. “Dekalb County is seeking world class education professional to lead a billion dollar school system with nearly one hundred thousand students. The ideal leader will be of any race or gender but must have a Doctorate in Education, current administrative State certification and have a proven track record running a large metropolitan school system. Turnaround executives with accounting and mediation skills a plus. The salary for this public service senior position is limited by Board policy.” Yes?

  14. September says:

    If you are looking for SFA schools, start with the schools in the system that are Title I. I’m not sure if Atkinson was using Title I status or Focus School status when she decided to implement SFA.

    One of the problems with SFA is that it is a school reform program. The teachers at a school adopting SFA were supposed to have voted to use the program. There was no such vote at the school I worked at. We didn’t want the program. We gave it our best effort, but it negatively impacted the work we were doing with our students. It meant less time for in instruction in areas other than reading (math, science, and social studies). Teachers who were not trained to teach reading found themselves teaching reading. There was a script and you weren’t supposed to deviate from it. There were teachers in my building who worked in an SFA classroom for 90 minutes and also taught a full 6 segments in the specials rotation every day. I personally blame SFA for taking my school off track with regard to student achievement. We took a hit because of SFA – the reading program that didn’t really teach reading. Unfortunately, our neediest children were impacted the most.

    The other thing that you need to be looking at is the loss of school staff that happened during the same school year as SFA. When you fire paraprofessionals, library clerks, and increase class sizes, you are going to see some problems. The people we lost were doing important work and making it possible for teachers to do their best work. You can’t replace these support positions with volunteers. It just doesn’t work that way.

    One last point. Public schools that are allowed to limit enrollment and choose their students need to be evaluated in a separate category. It is wrong for our school system to point to schools like DECA or DSA and say that these schools prove that we are getting the job done. When you can send a student back to their home school because of behavior or a failure to meet academic standards, you aren’t teaching under the same conditions as everyone else. These are wonderful schools for the students who are allowed to participate, but for every student who wins a place in these programs, there are many waiting and hoping for the same opportunity.

  15. Word Wall says:

    The layoffs of library and paraprofessionals was shortsighted and directly hurt the student performance. Combined with SFA — a corporate off-the-shelf jargola scheme– it sounds like DEKALB actively built a worst case scenario in that school. Great post, “September”….

  16. @dsw2: From the articles you posted >> [Day to day leadership VS experienced, inspired leadership]

    “But, when asked if the lack of having a permanent superintendent will make it difficult for the school system to meet the other accreditation mandates, Elgart says Tyson’s presence has helped.

    “She’s been in the role now over a year,” Elgart says, “She has more experience than some other superintendents, not only in the state of Georgia, but throughout the country. So I would say, they do have a superintendent right now that’s providing day-to-day leadership.”

    +++

    ““Lillie Cox is a champion of children and epitomizes great leadership ability,” the AASA said in announcing the finalists. “Since she returned to Alamance-Burlington Schools as superintendent (the district’s first female head of schools) in 2011, the school system has shown marked improvement in every measure and has achieved several historic milestones because of her vision for public education and for the community.” Earlier this year, Alamance-Burlington became the only school district in the nation to earn two first place awards in the National School Boards Association Magna Awards competition. In addition, Alamance-Burlington students earned back-to-back historic records for annual scholarship awards, achieved the highest graduation rate in district history and recorded steady advancement on all academic measures. – See more at: http://soe.unc.edu/news_events/alumni_news/2013/131009-lillie-cox.php#sthash.dGKDVpf1.dpuf

  17. Word Wall says:

    The summary of State, County and School scores on CCRPI are being circulated to teachers on First Class. The Palace now has no way to hide the shocking failure of Dekalb County to EDUCATE K thru 12…their brutal layoffs, morale killing furloughs, firehose spending on SFA & Thinking Maps, all the lost textbooks, free cars, RICO convictions, an impeached Board, SACs probation, sky high attorneys fees, abandoning Social Security equity and step raises, well…. the results are in! Great job! Everyone gets a cookie….

  18. Thanks, Word Wall! If anyone has received this via First Class and can send it to DSW e-mail using their personal computer/laptop/tablet, personal Internet connection and personal e-mail, please do.

  19. Word Wall says:

    Classroom overcrowding, i.e., the class size limits waivers — is a major factor in these FAILING Dekalb results. Burned and abandoned school buildings litter the landscape, while trashy trailers are called classrooms…you can’t blame that profligate insanity on the teachers!

  20. Word Wall says:

    District Three has Atticus LeBlanc running for dekalb school board — a strong reformer who deserves a look.

  21. concernedmome30329 says:

    word wall

    I was fairly unimpressed with LeBlanc at the forum. Can you tell me what he has accomplished that labels him a reformer?

  22. @Word Wall: Our first post on DSW2 was about the blight caused by abandoned schools. We toured the county and took photos of the decrepit buildings scattered all over, making what used to be tidy neighborhoods look trashy and scary and further devaluing the real estate in these areas. We found graffiti, bullet holes, boarded windows and trash as well as just hopeless-looking shuttered school buildings. Read it again here >>

    DCSS vacant properties causing blight countywide
    Posted on January 25, 2012

    Sadly, we didn’t make much of an impact on the school administration or the neighborhood groups. We were pretty much met with yawns from all angles.

  23. We’ve also heard good things, from people we trust, about Jerrie Bason, candidate in District 3 >> She worked for ATT and then for the federal government as auditor. More recently, she has spent a lot of time subbing at Southwest DeKalb. She is touted as being a very sensible lady.

    Jerrie Bason for DeKalb School Board Member, District 3
    Official campaign website for Jerrie Bason for DeKalb School Board Member, District 3

    View on http://www.electjerriebason.com

    facebook.com/jerriebason

  24. The Source says:

    From: ALICE A. THOMPSON 4/23/2014 4:00:16 PM
    Subject: CCRPI Release, summary of data, and Resources
    To: Bulletin Principal All
    Cc: Region Superintendents
    Regional Coordinators
    Region Executive Admin.
    C&I Leadership Team JOSE G. BOZA
    LINDA L. WOODARD
    ALICIA DEL MORAL JACKIE SIMMONS
    Attachments:2013 CCRPI Summary by Component Final.xlsx Microsoft Excel Worksheet 114K
    CCRPI DCSD and State Score Summary and Overview.doc Document 69K
    CCRPI DCSD Score Summary and High Flyer.docx Microsoft Word Document 31K

    ===========================

    INTEROFFICE MEMORANDUM

    To: All Principals
    From: Dr. Kathleen S. Howe, Deputy Superintendent, Curriculum and Instruction
    Through: Dr. Alice Thompson, Deputy Superintendent, School Leadership and Operational Support
    Subject: CCRPI Release, summary of data, and Resources
    Date: April 23, 2014

    The Georgia Department of Education released the new scores for schools and districts for both the 2012 and the 2013 school year CCRPI scores. These new scores were released to the public for schools and districts to have an “apples to apples” comparison using the new business rules. These new scores were released Monday, April 24, 2014.

    Upon review of the data reported in these new score reports, please find the attached charts for summary information as well as information below that highlights information for schools and the district.

    The attached documents contain a summary of this data and charts to assist with further and more detailed review for individual schools, regions and stakeholders.
    • The 2013 CCRPI Summary by Component Final document contains longitudinal chart comparison for growth from the newly processed 2012 and 2013 CCRPI scores. It also provides a breakdown of information by region and grade cluster as well as comparison by Metro Districts.
    • The CCRPI DCSD and State Score Summary and Overview document contains high level summary information comparing growth from 2012 and 2013 score reports. This document provides charts for grade clusters, state comparison information, and details included in 2012 scores.
    • The CCRPI DCSD Score Summary and High Flyer document provides charts that highlight specific details including score categories, top five schools, and breakdown by cluster.

    The information below provides district highlights by grade cluster (HS, MS, ES) and in three Score component categories (CCRPI Overall Score, Academic Progress Points, and EL/ED/SWD Performance Points)

    High School:
    There were approximately 447 High Schools represented in the data source. DCSD has the #1 HS in the state of Georgia.
    Overall score:
    • The #1 HS in the State – DeKalb Early College Academy
    • 2 High schools ranked in the top 5 – DECA and DeKalb School of the Arts (DSA)
    Academic Progress Points:
    • The #1 HS in the state in Academic Progress Points – DECA
    • 3 HS ranked in the top 20 ranking – DECA #1, Dunwoody HS #15, and DSA #20.
    ED/EL/SWD Performance Points:
    • DECA ranked #10 in this category as well

    Middle School:
    There were approximately 597 Middle Schools listed in the data source.
    Overall score:
    • DCSD has two Schools ranked in the top 25 – Wadsworth Magnet School #5 and Kittredge Magnet School #25
    ED/EL/SWD Performance Points:
    • One school ranked in top 15 – DeKalb PATH Academy #11

    Elementary School:
    There were approximately 1,347 Elementary schools listed in the data source
    Overall score:
    • Three schools ranked in top 30 – Wadsworth #15, Austin #18, Kittredge #28
    Academic Progress Points:
    • One school ranked in top 20 in state – Austin #17
    ED/EL/SWD Performance Points:
    • Two schools ranked in top 25 – DeKalb PATH Academy #6, Robert Shaw Theme School #25

    This data can be used to focus Instructional and Operational decision making for the classroom teacher, the school, the region, and the district.

    Please contact Johnathan Clark, Director of Research Assessment and Grants at 678-676-0300 if you have any questions or need further assistance.

    Dr. Alice A. Thompson
    Deputy Superintendent
    School Leadership and Operational Support
    DeKalb County School District
    1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd.
    Stone Mountain, GA 30083
    Office: 678-676-2843
    Fax: 678-676-0535

  25. DSW, I am relying on your recommendation for District 3, but she has NO education in her background. Subbing on SWD is NOT enough to satisfy the background in education. Please advise if I have overlooked something.

  26. This is crap. Everyone knows that. Howe and Thompson are nuts on wheels.

  27. Who in the darkest hell are these two bozo women?

  28. How, please, do these two ladies summarize the findings so eloquently?

  29. Alice Thompson, you are deluded. These schools you tout as being so successful are all magnet or specialty theme schools but one. ONLY TWO are traditional schools that performed respectably vs the rest of the state (both in Dunwoody). ONE out of 140 or so total schools in DeKalb performed respectably out of the approximately 2400 total in the state (per your email). That means that DeKalb has about 5% of the total schools in the state. So, therefore, DeKalb should at least have 5% of the top tier traditional schools, wouldn’t you think? The top 10% of 2400 schools would be 240 schools. If DeKalb were to represent 5% of those, they would have at least 12 schools on the top list – not just a handful of very highly specialized schools with 200 or fewer total hand-picked students. This is a laughable response. Totally out of touch. Completely deluded. OF COURSE these schools perform at the top! These kids are tested, hand-chosen and thrive in small classes that enjoy a full support staff!! OMG – Get real lady!!

    DeKalb Early College Academy – 259 total students (For a high school!)
    DeKalb School of the Arts (DSA) – 327 total tested, hand-picked, magnet students (8th-12th grade!!)
    Wadsworth ES – 232 total tested, hand-picked, magnet students ; transportation provided
    Kittredge ES – 415 total tested, hand-picked, magnet students ; transportation provided
    DeKalb PATH Academy – 370 total students – charter school – transportation required
    Robert Shaw Theme School – 437 total students – theme school – application process – parent participation/transportation required
    Austin ES (Dunwoody) – 642 total students – traditional school – no magnet program
    Dunwoody HS – 1490 total students – traditional school – no magnet program

    So – in total, 4,172 students are doing well in DeKalb! (attending the above mentioned schools, most of which are magnet/theme schools or very small, expensive programs or Dunwoody schools…) That’s about 4% of the total — whoopee!!

  30. Brookhaven, Dunwoody schools fare better than DeKalb overall

    While DeKalb schools overall saw decreases in College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) scores as the Georgia Department of Education today (April 21) released results from the 2013 and 2012 school years, the majority of the county’s schools in Brookhaven and Dunwoody netted gains.

    The statewide accountability system was implemented in 2012 to replace the No Child Left Behind Adequate Yearly Progress measurement. Results from 2012 were recalculated and released today based on feedback from education partners and the public.

    Statewide, both elementary and middle schools saw increases overall, while high school scores saw a dip. Overall, Atlanta Public Schools and Fulton County Schools increased scores at all three levels, while DeKalb fell in all three.

    Below are results from 2013 and 2012 for Brookhaven and Dunwoody schools in the DeKalb County Schools system:

    Brookhaven schools 2013 / 2012
    Ashton Park Elementary 87.6 / 77.9
    Montgomery Elementary 89 / 88.6
    Woodward Elementary 48 / 64.2
    DeKalb PATH Elementary 83.2 / 83
    DeKalb PATH Middle 90.9 / 85.4
    Chamblee Middle School 87.9 / 82.7
    Chamblee Charter High 78.6 / 80.3
    Cross Keys High 72.8 / 63.6

    Dunwoody schools 2013 / 2012
    Austin Elementary 96.5 / 95.1
    Chesnut Elementary 84.1 / 70.2
    Dunwoody Elementary 93.7 / 85.4
    Kingsley Elementary 68.9 / 68.7
    Vanderlyn Elementary 95.2 / 94.2
    Peachtree Middle 72.8 / 81
    Dunwoody High 79.1 / 80.9

  31. Disclaimer: Even though we laugh at the silliness of holding expensive, magnet and specialty schools up as an example of the entire system, we do applaud the DeKalb Early College Academy. It’s a good program that sets young people right for the future. It’s just that we would like to see excellent results across the county for ALL children.

  32. Word Wall says:

    DSW2, the superlame “talking points” cannot “spindry” the pathetic Dekalb CRPPI scores…. Dekalb’s numbers are CR(a)PPI. My positive impression of Atticus is from the direct tone of his campaign mailer. Jerrie Bason seemed much more status quo than Atticus, again just opinion drawn from how they present themselves in campaign materials.

  33. Kim says:

    Have to chime in on PATH Academy … this wonderful school, mostly ignored by DCSD, operates in the old Jim Cherry ES facility. The building has always served as a Cross Keys HS feeder and more or less does today. Like Cross Keys, it does amazing things with a patently inadequate facility.

    It draws some of our best students from Woodward and Montclair, especially, and later Sequoyah MS. I would be glad if my own son’s path (ahem) goes through PATH. Many of it students later distinguish themselves at Cross Keys due the combination of higher-motivated parents and good experience at PATH.

    I also have to harp a bit on Cross Keys results at the HS. In a friendly but ribbing manner, may I say to my neighbors in Chamblee attendance: “You may be north of us a bit in this ranking but you better not blink.” Cross Keys faculty and students are really something to be proud of in Brookhaven! To my neighbors south of I-85, if you’re looking for the best HS along I-85 in DeKalb, go to Lakeside, take a left, cross I-85 and continue south on Buford Hwy and you’ll find Cross Keys 🙂 … I love you all but the CK Indians are the best.

  34. Kim says:

    Regarding Ms. Cox and her tragic candidacy for DCSD Super … I watch every minute of all the candidates interviews and public town hall. Her quality shown so far above and beyond that of the other candidates I was unable to process why the others were being seriously considered in comparison. Her answers and observations were clear, on point, and free of bromides.

    In fact, when that process unraveled and we landed where we did I more or less gave up on DCSD reform. This coincided with my going more or less dark on this blog. My cynicism has not been disappointed since.

  35. @concerned: We didn’t recommend a candidate, (and we won’t after getting burned by recommending Jim McMahan) we just shared that we had heard good things after someone else mentioned good things about another district 3 candidate. Hopefully this all means we’ll get someone good elected from District 3!

  36. And Kim – you must know that you have been missed!

  37. howdy1942 says:

    Don’t forget – May 20, 2014 – VOTE!!! That is less than four weeks away!!! We’ve been waiting for that day for years – let’s go to the polls and make the changes that will most likely restore our school system to its rightful place among the best in our nation. It doesn’t matter where you live – go vote!! If you need a ride to the polls, email @DSW! I’m sure that there are many on this blog who would be willing to pick you up. Please, please take the time to vote – your vote will count and it will be a big, big one. Remember the Bush – Gore race of 2000! You can and should and will be heard. I wish that every registered voter in Dekalb County would go vote on May 20 – let’s take back control of our school system and insist that it get focused on students, teachers, and the classroom. Again, please VOTE!!

  38. Word Wall says:

    Again, my takeaway is that Jerrie Basin is making very bland, middle of the road statements, with precious few specifics — or any sense of urgency (but she does have a very good professional resume). Atticus LeBlanc’s campaign materials correspond more to the urgency and skepticism we see on the blog. Since the Palace has outfoxed, fooled and manipulated the elected (and appointed) boards for years, DeKalb “NEEDS IMPROVEMENT” … and a board willing to hire a new Superintendent with a stack of “Pink Slips” for cronies, friends and family…

  39. Word Wall says:

    Sorry, in District Three, it is Atticus LeBlanc versus Jerrie Bason … (the spelling was “corrected”)

  40. Read this Huffington article highlighting the latest government report on the increase in graduation rates. Sadly, Georgia is still in the bottom 5 states for the lowest graduation rates in the U.S.

    Graduation Rate Hits Record High For High School Students: Government Report

    Nationally … “”What we see is an increase,” Jack Buckley, who directs the Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics, told The Huffington Post. Out of the 4 million students who started school in 2006-2007, 3.1 million — or 78.2 percent — graduated with a regular or advanced diploma in the 2009-2010 school year. That’s an increase of more than two percentage points.”

    … “Notably, despite lingering achievement gaps between the performance of different ethnic and income groups on standardized tests, the gains in graduation rates were distributed across all groups. “We saw improvements across all the races we’re able to measure,” Buckley said. “Asians had the highest rate, and black students had the lowest.” Students that identify as Hispanic have seen an enormous graduation rate increase of 10 percentage points — jumping from 61.4 to 71.4 percent since the 2005-2006 school year.”

    … “The report also broke out graduation rates by state. Vermont led the pack with a graduation rate of 91.4 percent, followed by Wisconsin at 91.1 percent and North Dakota at 88.4 percent. Most Northeastern states came in at between 75 and 90 percent. California and Texas, the two most populous states, came in between 78 and 79 percent. The state with the lowest graduation rate was Nevada, with 57.8 of its students graduating on time. New Mexico, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia and South Carolina also came out on the bottom.”

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