Response to the Response to the Superintendent’s Report

The original writer of the Response to the Superintendent’s Report has written a follow-up response.  We invite the dialogue to continue on this thread … ie: Does DeKalb School District need to redistrict? Does our Board have the guts to do it? Does anyone on staff have the ability to collect and analyze the data and make solid recommendations? Where are there inequities in facilities/programs/class sizes/materials? Why? Please add information regarding what you see in your own schools and area schools on this subject.

Read on >>>

I want to thank everyone who has commented. This is the only forum where people can discuss DeKalb County Schools since the central office does not encourage or support dialog. Thank you too, DeKalb School Watch, for maintaining this blog.

A lot of the criticism aimed at the response was justified and some valid points were raised. However, I would like to point out several things, which are not to dismiss the previous comments.

That response was put together in less than 30 minutes. It was not meant to be a plan or workable solution to the annexation of Druid Hills. The purpose was to show that, if you are familiar with the 10-Year Facility Master Plan and the 5-Year Local Facilities Plan, options exist. The superintendent did not present all the relevant information, only that which he wanted to share.

The county needs to redistrict. There is no getting around it. The county needs to redistrict.

People say they want schools to be equitable across the county. That includes school utilization. Is it fair that Tucker Middle School is over capacity (101%) while one mile away Stone Mountain Middle School has 510 empty seats (64% capacity)?

Is it equitable to have Clarkston High at 128% capacity (13 trailers) and McNair High at 53% capacity (0 trailers)?

Are the students at Cary Reynolds Elementary (155% capacity – 21 trailers) being educated equitably when compared to Clifton Elementary (53% capacity – 0 trailers)?

The county needs to redistrict.

The list of schools to be closed was attached to the end of the response to show there are even more schools which will not be in use by DeKalb County if the annexation occurs. There will be schools available for the “displaced” students to attend.

The county needs to redistrict.

The interesting thing is, even though the listed schools are scheduled to be closed, over $2.2 million of SPLOST money will be invested in these schools. Over $800,000 is being spent on Clifton Elementary which is on the same site as the soon-to-be-built Gresham Park Elementary. They have the same address. (pages C-8 & C-111) That new school is being built to hold 900 students while the predicted enrollment is approximately 660 students.

The county needs to redistrict.

If the superintendent wanted to avoid the annexation of Druid Hills and spending millions to fight it, all he would have to do is support their legal charter cluster petition.

Even if the superintendent did the right thing and avoided those, the county still needs to… redistrict.

___

SPLOST Projects For Schools Scheduled to be Closed in 2015 & 2016

407-422        $409,176

120-422        $504,164

320-422        $575,744

336-422        $105,773

408-422        $277,485

421-341-039        $400,000

$2,272,343

-Anonymous
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About dekalbschoolwatch

Hosting a dialogue among parents, educators and community members focused on improving our schools and providing a quality, equitable education for each of our nearly 100,000 students. ~ "ipsa scientia potestas est" ~ "Knowledge itself is power"
This entry was posted in Board of Education Meetings, Budget Cuts, Georgia Independent Schools, Michael Thurmond, Redistricting and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Response to the Response to the Superintendent’s Report

  1. thedeal2 says:

    I have thought this for years. Other districts do minor adjustments every few years. DeKalb has waited so long that it would be a massive shift that would understandably upset a lot of people. If they had just been doing their job all along, it never would have reached this point. Another example of DCSD’s inability to run a school district.

  2. Below are links to the documents asking to change board policy on bullying. This was presented by Ron Ramsey. This is in direct response to the DOJ demands after the settlement with DeKalb in the religious bullying of a Sikh student at Peachtree Charter Middle School.

    Rationale

    In order to maintain compliance with federal statutes and regulations, and to provide operational clarity, it has become necessary to amend Board Policy, Bullying, Descriptor Code JCDAG.

    Quick Summary / Abstract

    Presented by: Mr. Ronald B. Ramsey, Sr., Chief Legal Officer, Division of Legal Affairs

    Contacts
    Mr. Ronald B. Ramsey, Sr., Chief Legal Officer, Division of Legal Affairs, 678.676.0201
    Mr. Quentin Fretwell, Coordinator, Safe Schools, Division of Legal Affairs

    Supporting Documents

    >> <a href="https://dekalbschoolwatch.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/current-board-policy-jcdag.pdf" target="_blank">Current Board Policy JCDAG</a>
    >> <a href="https://dekalbschoolwatch.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/redline-proposed-board-policy-jcdag.pdf" target="_blank">Redline Proposed Board Policy JCDAG</a>
    >> <a href="https://dekalbschoolwatch.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/proposed-approved-final-board-policy-jcdag.pdf" target="_blank">Proposed (+ APPROVED) Final Board Policy JCDAG</a>
    

    +++

    Settlement with Dekalb Schools to Address Bullying Based on Religion and National Origin
    Posted on December 13, 2014

    The DOJ settlement states in part >>

    This review led to yesterday’s seminal settlement agreement which, in part, requires DeKalb County to provide annual age and position appropriate training to more than 100,000 students and staff on the “root causes of religious and national origin harassment and the harms resulting from such conduct, including but not limited to issues related to post-9/11 backlash and the perpetuation of negative stereotypes impacting the Sikh, Muslim, South Asian, and Arab-American communities.”

    NOTE >> We have not seen action on anti-bullying training for students and staff as of yet.

  3. In addition, take a look at the Feb 1 HR report, which also had very little discussion. Over 140 resignations were turned in – 40 of which were teachers. On the hiring side, they hired 46 teachers during that same period, for a net gain of only 6 teachers to fill our deficit (which was not discussed, so we don’t know the number of teacher vacancies as of Feb 1, 2015.) Of course, many teacher vacancies were filled when DeKalb entered into contracts with two companies that supply foreign teachers. The AJC, however, recently ran a story on how poorly these teachers are treated and how much less they are actually paid. Additionally, most do not receive any kind of benefits – including paid sick days. Often, they have to pay administrative fees to their agencies – even though these agencies already charge an $11,000 finders fee. DeKalb spent over $3 million on these agencies in order to attempt to fill the hundreds of teaching vacancies in DeKalb.

    Again, the subject of international supply teachers
    Posted on January 25, 2015

    https://dekalbschoolwatch.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/february-2015-monthly-human-resources-report.pdf

  4. Remind me why we would have a right to intervene between a company and the agreement is has with its own employees? Even if we insisted that they follow our example, that could leave a looooot of room for interpretation. ]

  5. Because, Cell, it’s just wrong. Marshall was right. We need to have a discussion about the treatment of these teachers (as well as our regular staff teachers) – it’s BAD for children to have teachers who are essentially indentured servants.

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