A history lesson: The ‘high-achievers’ magnets explained

lottery_ball_machine_wapday-comDeKalb has a few what they call, ‘high-achiever’ magnet schools that parents beat a path to in order to apply for a seat for their ‘high-achieving’ child. In reality, these magnets are on-par with many ‘regular’ schools in other, more high-performing states, but here, a seat at a ‘high-achiever’ magnet is special and worth enduring a myriad of testing, a lengthy application and a nail-biting lottery.

The thing is, most DeKalb parents do not understand the history of the original intent or the current related thought by school leaders regarding these programs. Have you been frustrated that your very high-test-scoring child has not ever been able to ‘win’ a seat in one of these exclusive lotteries? Maureen Downey wondered and opined on the subject this past January in her post, ‘Public school magnet lotteries: Why do we have winners and losers?’

In truth, Kittredge, Wadsworth and their associated middle and high school programs are not about truly serving the needs of the best and brightest–that would be called a gifted magnet, because you would need to score in the actual, legally-defined gifted range in order to bag a seat – and that would only include at most, the top 5% of DeKalb students. These programs are called ‘high achiever’ and in reality, although may are gifted, students can score as low as in the 75th percentile to ‘win’ a seat. Why so low? Because the main mission of these programs is not achievement, it is integration. The Kittredge program was created as one response to the 1968 federal mandate to integrate DeKalb schools that ruled over us for the following three and a half decades. And the only way to lure folks to integrate was to convince them that it was an elite program.

We have been chatting about this issue with well-meaning parents for years on this blog and we have a bit of a different viewpoint from those who see Kittredge as a program for the gifted. For example, just take a look at Kittredge back when Johnny Brown became superintendent. Brown decided that the lottery should return to its roots of taking two students from each school – and regardless of whether or not they had applied, he went out and selected these students. If you came from a school where a dozen or more students applied, you still were only allowed to choose two.  If you had zero apply, then the principal chose two. This was the original way the selection process was handled, and, like busing and other programs, it was part of DeKalb’s written plan to move the system into becoming fully integrated and to satisfy the demands of the federal court order to desegregate.

You see, although the program has morphed a bit since it was created, DCSS leaders hold on to that history of mandated integration and still don’t view Kittredge as a true program for gifted/high-achievers as many of today’s parents assume – they view it as a specialty-boutique-type program allowing access to a decent education in classrooms full of integrated, motivated students with highly involved parents for those who wish to escape bad schools around the county. It’s a way to grease squeaky wheels. When you keep this paradigm in mind, their actions will make sense.

We were given “unitary status” back in 1985* [mainly because the system became a majority minority] and court supervision was phased out over the next decade or so. Today, we have a need and a desire for programs specifically for the gifted – and the number of students who actually qualify as gifted is low enough that we have seats available to accommodate. However, unless and until DeKalb leaders are willing to create a program for the truly gifted (and test scores would sort students, reducing the demand from its current high-achievers level) then we will continue to have this issue of inequity for gifted students who are awarded extra funding by the state, but who often do not receive extra services regardless of funding or law.

Again, these programs were originally designed to satisfy the federal judge’s mandate that DeKalb integrate its schools. DCSS leaders still view it as such. And as such, your requests for participation, programs, equity and access for the gifted, logical as they may be, will fall on deaf ears – with no explanation. We will give J. Brown credit – he was up-front in his reasoning. He saw high-achiever magnets as a race issue. [He also would not even consider vocational schools as he thought they would only serve to place black students on a low-achieving track, but I digress.]

Today’s school system leaders handle these kinds of issues quite differently; they just do not speak or respond to those who have a difference of opinion.

+++

To read more on the integration of DeKalb County, Georgia Schools as well as the details of the federal court mandate, check out this in-depth series on the issue at this excellent blog by J. Marcus Patton.

Also, read this 2007 report by the Georgia Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights; Desegregation of Public School Districts in Georgia:
35 Public School Districts Have Unitary Status, 74 Districts Remain Under Court Jurisdiction

CLICK HERE to read more on the subject at the Encyclopedia of African-American History.

*History-Unified-Status Records of Unified Declaration for DeKalb >>

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36 Responses to A history lesson: The ‘high-achievers’ magnets explained

  1. This and That says:

    Thank you DeKalb School Watch! I grew up in DeKalb in the 60s and 70s (WD Thompson Elementary School, Sagamore Hills (after WD closed I attended my 7th grade year), and Briarcliff High School. This was when DeKalb was thought of very highly in the state. One of the reasons I became a teacher. Teachers fought to teach in DeKalb. It took me several years to finally get a teaching job in DeKalb in the early 90s. I have also experienced the lows of DeKalb County. I felt like the old DeKalb has been forgotten. Thank you so much for reminding everyone of a little bit of the history that made DeKalb what it is today.

  2. concerned citizen says:

    This and That and DSW – excellent work and a dose of reality!!!!

  3. Kim says:

    Good summary. I think it is worth adding that “High Achievers” is not the only program subject to lottery in DeKalb. Also, I think it is uncontroversial to say that our over forty choice programs in DeKalb have evolved over the years to quiet many of the most vocal parent and community critics. I call it the “Hush Puppy” response to a DeKalb community hungry for higher performing public education.

  4. Gameday says:

    When they consolidated schools (like Montgomery and Nancy Creek Elementary) those two magnet school spots that were originally alloted to Nancy Creek Elementary did not transfer to Montgomery. One more example of how the process is socially biased to benefit the administrations constituents.

  5. thedeal2 says:

    Kim is right. Escape from neighborhood schools has extended beyond these high achiever programs to the other choice programs. Many people see any of these programs as a better option than their home school. This shows how far the county has declined. When neighborhood schools, not even a majority, just a decent percentage, are doing well, these programs are able to serve who they were meant to serve depending on their needs and interests (arts, Montessori, IB, high-achiever). As the neighborhood schools have declined (or faith in them has declined), we see lotteries for all of them with very large waitlists regardless of what people’s true interests or philosophies are.

    One correction, there is no litany of tests or lengthy application to get into the high achiever programs. That is really another sign that these aren’t really high achiever as they are, say, in New York or DC. They use scores from the same standardized tests everyone takes, and the “application” amounts to clicking a couple of buttons online. If this were a true high achiever magnet school, you would think it would be more rigorous. A friend of mine who teaches in another urban southern system is pushing her district to have their magnet schools fill up from the “top down”. Rank the students according to GPA, test scores, whatever other criteria is deemed necessary. Start with the top-ranked student and go down until the school is full. No waitlist. No lottery.

  6. Same old same old says:

    @@thedeal2: the litany of tests refers to the ITBS scores required for high achiever magnet applications. Untested grades such as 4th grade have to take them in order to have recent scores. They are administered by the department of school choice on Saturdays.

  7. thedeal2 says:

    Yes, I guess I don’t consider that a litany. If you want to go to a magnet school, you should be prepared for testing to ensure you meet the requirements. I would think a true high achiever magnet would go by more than just standardized tests, especially in a county where you have hundreds of people on the waiting list. That either suggests your entrance criteria is too low, or your county is chock full of geniuses and you need to do more to help all of them instead of the few whose numbers are drawn.

  8. Kim says:

    Mensa-level intelligence is measured as two percentile. Forget “High Achievers,” using then Mensa benchmark for reference, there are 2,000 students in DCSD schools that would qualify as “High IQ.” A ten percentile program would potentially net ten thousand kids. There are plenty of smart kids in our county who could leverage gifted and other similar, specialty programs. We are trapped between wanting choices and having too many schools to keep vibrant. No one wants to hear it but I have long advocated for far fewer schools with many more resources. Since our communities and leadership resoundingly reject this notion, we should be funding a couple of K-12 special purpose, dedicated campuses instead of this smattering of random programs.

  9. Concerned Dekalb Mom says:

    If only Kim G were willing to forgo his chosen profession and lead the school system. He’s on point, as usual.

    I would add…the far fewer schools would necessitate the reduction in individual class size to truly function well, and that would be K-12. It could work. But Kim is right…too many communities are too worried to “share” their resources. So…we’re stuck with what we have.

  10. Nikole Allen says:

    For the Lakeside teacher that died this past weekend on her way to prom.

    This is the fundraising campaign for Education Fund -“Leah’s Lil Angels”: http://de.gofund.me/Leahslilangels

  11. Our thoughts and prayers go out to this Lakeside teacher and her family as well as the teacher who was killed recently during the tornadoes when a tree fell on her house. Both very sudden things – both very sad – we have lost two very good teachers.

  12. To have to go down to the 75% on the ITBS is a sad statement. My children went to a Catholic School for as long as I could afford it where they proudly advertised that the whole school was over the 80%. With the average being around 92%.

    I remember in first grade after we got the ITBS results one Hispanic friend of mine told me she was upset with her daughter Bella, because she had only scored a 99 on the Math section. I then had to explain to her that my daughter had also only gotten a 99 percentile in Math, and this was the highest score your child could get. Their are no 100’s on the ITBS. She should be proud of her daughter as I was of mine they were both in the top 1% of students in Math in the whole country.

    The difference with the Catholic school was, parent involvement was mandatory! Behavior issues at school were not tolerated! Even a top Doctor aka donor at St. Joseph’s child was removed, for behavior. Their was not nearly as much homework, as in public school. What homework that was given had meaning. The same thing, the projects were individual, not group. Not like public school where a smart kid gets stuck with 2-4 sub par performers and is expected to do the work of the group or gets their A killed ( my 99 percentile child, decided in public middle school she would have the last laugh on her looser partners that didn’t do the work and taught them a life lesson, she called in sick. ).

    A high achiever school with kids from the 75 percentile is a joke to kids from the 90 and above percentile. It is slowing you down.

  13. FWIW, @anothercomment. Catholic and private schools do have good ideas that can sometimes transfer to public schools such as the ones you mention, however, the really important thing about public schools is that they take every child – as they are, regardless of their ability or home life – say, exactly the way Jesus did – and not the way Catholic schools or other private schools that like to label themselves as “Christian”, yet do not take actions in any way that emulate the tenets of Jesus do.

    At least secular private schools offer their services in the name of being private – not in the twisted idea that they are somehow religiously special. What “Christian” schools ‘teach’ in theory (Christianity) is not expressed in their actions (denying entry to those deemed ‘less than’). In reality, public schools are more in line with the tenets of Jesus’ teachings – in the fact that they take in every child exactly where they are and try to do the very best job possible to educate and prepare them for a productive, happy life. This is why we will always continue to support public schools – regardless of how much we criticize the leadership at times.

    We never, ever like to compare private schools to public – ALL private schools hand pick their students and then brag about the results. Not the same for public. Not at all. In fact, take a look at the public schools that hand pick students (Kittredge, DSA, Gwinnett’s Math/Science magnet, etc.) – they do quite well as well – however, their districts still have viable educational opportunities for those who may not test at the cut off to apply for special programs. We aren’t concerned about individual programs or schools. We continue to seek equity in funding, class size, materials, technology and teacher quality for all schools across the system. If that means merging a special program like DSA into a traditional high school in order to even out spending on things like class sizes in core classes, food services, security and transportation (ala: North Springs HS in Fulton), then so be it – it won’t harm DSA students, and in fact, may help them grow, and it will certainly help out traditional schools that are allotted far less per pupil.

    SOAPBOX: According to the Bible, Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them.” He did not say, “Test the little children, bring me the best and brightest and send the rest to Caesar.”

  14. dsw2contributor says:

    Sadly, Dekalb lost three beloved educators in a single week.

    Bus driver Tamika Whaley died on April 18. I did not know her, but I am told she was young — under 40. The Route 54 Bus to Pleasantdale was one of her runs, per a condolence message under her obituary (http://www.legacy.com/guestbooks/atlanta/tamika-whaley-condolences/174680750?cid=full),

    McNair Middle Science Teacher Patricia Pusha died on April 20. A oak tree in her backyard collapsed under its own weight in the soggy ground and toppled onto her house. According to Channel 2, her relatives said she had fallen asleep in her living room recliner instead of her bedroom. Had she been in her bedroom, she would not have been struck by the tree. (http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/woman-trapped-inside-home-after-tree-falls-it/nkyGY/)

    Lakeside High Teacher Leah O’Brien died on April 25, in a car crash. She was enroute to the school’s prom. She was only 33 years old.

  15. Murphey says:

    @dekalbschoolwatch, FYI, Gwinnett School of Math, Science, and Technology is a charter school, not a magnet school. As with all charter schools, there are no academic or testing requirements to apply or attend.

    The rigorous curriculum at GSMST probably means that only students with stellar academic and test scores apply, but the school does not “hand pick” its students. It is possible that there are continuation requirements, but that might also be essentially self-selecting too. Making terrible grades might be incentive enough to leave GSMST.

    Kittredge requires minimum test scores and grades for admission. DSA requires a minimum gpa, successful auditions, teacher recommendations, and an interview.

  16. Thanks for the info, dsw2contributor. These are tragic losses.

    In particular, the Lakeside situation is very sad, as this teacher, on the way to chaperone the prom, apparently pulled in front of a car driven by one of her students, who was also heading to the prom with another of her students. Both students seem to be ok. Ms. O’Brien’s daughter is still hospitalized.

    And thanks for the clarification on entrance requirements Murphey. Our point is still relevant: Public schools, while they sometimes provide special programs for those with high test scores, they also provide for those with the lowest, those who are poor and those who may not have quality home lives. Here at DSW2 we like to think one of our missions is to ensure fairness by reporting on inequities among our various programs.

  17. thedeal2 says:

    Of course, DSW, here in DeKalb, we have seen that our poorest schools, who qualify for some of the biggest subsidies, funding, and grants (more than high-achieving schools are eligible for), see their money misspent by the administration on programs and directors who don’t have anything to do with the classroom. If their money was not misspent, you would see them receiving the most money of any schools.

  18. It’s very true that (in our opinion) the Title 1 funding for the poorest schools has been misspent on administrators. When in fact, this money from the federal government is intended for use to bring low-achieving, low-income students ‘on-par’ with their wealthier counterparts in other schools. The money used to be spent on extra teachers and staff to work exclusively in small groups on reading and math skills – critical to learn in the early grades. Counseling and social workers are a help to these children as well. ANY qualified staff person to work directly with students would help. However, as you state, our school district instead chooses to hire highly paid ‘supervisors’ and other administrative staffers instead. Teachers need direct support. Highly trained direct support staff would make a critical difference to these children. So would a very low class size (we are talking classes of 12!) The only way to improve outcomes and therefore the futures for low-income students is very direct, very hard work. One teacher cannot do it alone. We need help willing to roll up their sleeves. Like we always say, “It just ain’t rocket science”.

  19. Zinnia says:

    Gifted education in many, many Dekalb County schools is lacking. There is an idea that parents asking for gifted education are asking for a special favor for their children, instead of the proper education that the federal government both mandates and provides extra funding for. There becomes a point when you wonder if all the fighting for a proper, gifted education is worth it or not.

  20. You should not speak in absolutes. We are living proof of a family that was not in the desired segment of our public school system, mainly based on our income level. In fact, we were told in very clear terms that we were part of the problem because we did not want to sign up for free or reduced lunch and we were the types who seemed to really like volunteering. We tried a charter that was near us, but it would not allow us to even apply because they had an enforceable attendance zone. That’s almost funny now because, if you think about it, our school was not serving our own neighborhood and we were told it was an open choice program, but when we wanted to go elsewhere, that open choice program was suddenly closed. The traffic, I guess, is not allowed to flow North to South, only South to North. Without another choice available until 4th grade, and then only with a lottery, and without anyone willing to “accept us” as we were, as you incorrectly idealized the public school model would do, we were fortunate enough to find a private school that accepts children of all backgrounds. It did not matter if we were of the same religion, community or income level. They have small class sizes, which is probably what makes the biggest difference, but they also have quality people using good governance practices that allow all the parts of the system to work together and achieve the goal of educating the kids. They do it well. There will always be schools that break the mold. The ones that treat the kids with respect yet have firm discipline and expectations probably do it best.

  21. Yours is a very frustrating story Cell – and we are very sorry for your experience. We know of others who have had trouble moving out of their northside schools. Those are the kinds of issues we like to take up and help correct with people. Our comment about public schools is regarding the concept in general – our belief in the fact that this is the mission of public schools – to accept and educate all. DeKalb is not a shining example. This is why we continue to monitor and report on the times we see our own public schools not fulfilling this mission – or when we see spending intended for classrooms being wasted on a top-heavy administration. We are happy you found a nice private school. Gladly, for your child, you are able to scrape together tuition and do what’s best. We have to ask, do they also accept students with diagnosed learning disabilities? How about if they are English-language learners? What if children come from deep poverty and can’t pay a dime or have no transportation?

  22. Exactly true Zinnia. Children who test at the ‘gifted’ level receive a 1.6 FTE funding score (1.0 is sort of the ‘base’.) We often wonder where all that extra money goes. If we had a forensic audit we might be able to tell. If the school district would post an online checkbook register with memos, we might be able to tell. If we truly had programs in each region for the gifted, we might know better that the money is spent wisely only on gifted children. We have no way of knowing any of these things, as the administration does not share the budget in such detail. There is a person in charge of coordinating gifted education – Mrs. Donyell Atkinson – you might want to write an Open Records Request asking her to show how many children receive services and exactly how her budget is spent.

    FWIW, CLICK HERE to read about the Gifted Program in DeKalb. At a minimum, a gifted child in elementary school should receive 225 minutes of pull-out instruction by a certified teacher of the gifted. CLICK HERE to read more about programs for the gifted as described by the state.

    Interestingly, if DeKalb were to become an Investing in Education Excellence (IE2) or Charter District (as Michael Thurmond is proposing), they very likely would no longer receive funding for gifted students and therefore would likely no longer provide gifted services at all. (Read the State Doc on this topic HERE.)

    Download the brochure about the gifted programs by CLICKING HERE.

    Dr. Kathleen S. Howe — Deputy Superintendent, Curriculum and Instruction

    Mrs. Sandra Nunez — Director, Diverse Learners

    Mrs. Donyell Atkinson — Coordinator, Gifted Program

    +++++

    Eligibility Criteria to be labeled ‘gifted’ >>

    To be eligible for gifted services, students must qualify in three of the following four areas:

    Mental Ability
    Minimum score of 96th percentile (or higher) in at least one sub-test area
    Achievement
    Minimum score of 90th percentile (or higher) on the total reading, total math, or complete composite
    Creativity
    Minimum score of 90th percentile (or higher) on an assessment for creativity
    Motivation
    Minimum of 90th percentile (or higher) on an assessment for motivation (Grades K-12)
    or
    Grade point average of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, using an average of core grades over the previous two school years in English, math, science, social studies, and foreign language if applicable (Grades 9-12)

  23. Refugee from dcss says:

    Jewish schools are expensive and selective too. Did you intend to exclude them from the soapbox?

  24. Nope. Same thing but different. We have nothing against private schools, just remember, most of them pick and choose their students – and the parents attached to those students. [Jewish schools don’t claim to be teaching Christian tenets though – and Christian tenets are clear, at least as far as what Jesus is quoted as saying.]

    FWIW, there are many Jewish schools that do take all Jewish children as well as some others, even those with learning disabilities. In fact, there are several resources within the Jewish community for people with intellectual and other disabilities. For example, The Marcus Center has a theater program for young people with disabilities. And of course, Bernie Marcus built the Center for Autism near Emory.

    Bottom line: You really can’t compare private schools to public schools anywhere. You really can’t even compare many of the top private schools to the top public schools. There are huge differences – and public schools spend a lot of money on resources to educate so many that private schools turn away. Partnerships/mentorships could be a good idea; ‘some’ things can be learned from private schools: Like curriculum!

    BTW, it was a top-tier private Christian high school that, when their own locker room was renovated, donated their used workout equipment to the students at Cross Keys who had none. They seem to ‘get it’ a bit!

  25. BTW, appreciate the private/religious debate. We have tried to start discussions like this on race and all we hear is crickets!

  26. Just wondering says:

    I pray for a day that all students in all public schools will get the things that they need, I feel that all parents want the best education for their children. As go our schools, so goes our county. There can be two homes. Both of them can be built exactly the same. The home that is in an area with good schools is going to cost more.

    Also, this has been a hard week for the DeKalb County School System. Please pray for DeKalb County and the DCSS.

    ‘Student Charged in Wreck of Lakeside Teacher’
    http://www.ajc.com/news/news/vigil-set-for-lakeside-teacher-killed-in-crash-fun/nk6SW/

    ‘MLK Student killed on way to school’
    http://www.11alive.com/story/news/local/stone-mountain-lithonia/2015/04/30/teen-driver-killed-dekalb-wreck/26641783/

  27. Marney says:

    I want to correct a minor point on your Kittridge history—My Daughter was in 3rd grade at ICS (a charter school) when Crawford Lewis decided it would be 2 from each school. My daughter got a “you have been accepted” letter without us applying and when I called to ask what was going on we were told that they were going down the ITBS score list at schools where 2 had not applied. It was definitely NOT OUR PRINCIPAL who decided who would go because he was livid when he saw the letter….told me that if this kind of targeted cherry picking was done by private schools they could loose their accreditation for it! At the time, I thought it was a respectful change for the central office folks to treat a start-up charter the same as other schools for anything. We didn’t send her, and they went down the list to the next highest scoring child.

    My kids never got pull-out gifted teaching at ICS–nor did the school ever receive extra funding, although both of them were labeled gifted. At that time (and it has since changed) there was a waiver put in the charter allowing that appropriately differenciated IB instruction was an acceptable choice and a waiver of the pull-out time mandate was deemed appropriate for a choice school whose mission was to collectively educate its highly diverse population.

    I understand that the “high achievers” magnet is not what many expect if the top 25% is eligible—but the flip side of that is that there are lots of English Language Learners that cannot test above 75 percentile, and they have virtually no escape routes once they hit middle school level. We need to advocate for them. My kids managed to avoid Freedom Middle school because DESA and now DSA have been available to them based on ranked auditions. So my daughter went from an elementary school with a poor “ranking”–to a arts magnet in 7th grade where she thought the “gifted classes” which she had never had before were totally a waste. To a magnet high school that teaches all the classes at the gifted level so it can get the FTE premium–and can manage it because the student body is motivated. She will be going to Georgia Tech next year. And I am SO GLAD I have only 2 more years left till the younger one graduates and is out.

  28. dsw2contributor says:

    There is another addition to the list of tragedies — a Redan HS student was shot to death early this morning.

  29. deecab2bad says:

    GSMST was set up as a charter, but initially operated as a magnet. That is, it admitted students based on test scores and grades. There was a complaint or a lawsuit or something, so now it has to admit students using a lottery until the 9th grade class fills up. Because they only offer accelerated math and science courses with no remediation, if a student should fail classes at GSMST his/her freshman year, the student pretty much goes back to his/her attendance zone school.

    As far as I know, no “on-level” classes, no “high achiever” classes, no team taught classes. Keep up or shut up.

    I wonder what the caliber of the “humanities” classes is, though.

  30. Thanks for sharing your story Marney. It was Dr. Brown who we were referring to as going back to the ‘two from each school’ rule, not Dr. Lewis. Did Dr. Lewis attempt to move people around that he deemed worth? How interesting that your daughter was placed in the program, while others who applied were wait-listed. This is an example of the gaping hole in trust that has a long way to go to close.

    @dsw2contributor: We hadn’t heard about the Redan student. Thank you for sharing that information. It has certainly been a sad couple of weeks.

  31. Marney says:

    @ DSW It may have been Dr. Brown who decided on the “2 from each school b4 the 3rd child comes from any school”. But it was Dr. Lewis’s administration that decided that ICS should be treated as if it actually were a Dekalb County Public School . Surprise! (amazing ICS was in existence 4 years before someone in the central office decided that, and then only on something like this) From there it just happened to be the year my daughter was in 3rd grade and she made 99 percentile on the IOWA. And since there were only about 60 3rd graders–half of whom were ELL, it isn’t surprising she would be one of the top 2. I wouldn’t read anything other then straight test scores into that offer. We turned it down, although it was tempting since it would have helped with the terror we felt at potentially having to send her to Freedom Middle school. In retrospect I am glad we did because both of the 2 families that did take the offered slots had very mixed feelings about their experience. I think it does matter that you want the program rather than just feeling that you have won the lottery and need to take the prize

  32. Marney says:

    And it was an IOWA score sequence…we three moms knew each other quite well and compared notes. One was the daughter of two doctors and the other will be going to Carnegie Mellon next year… In this case they definitely met the gifted category, probably more so than from some of the schools that had 15 people in the lottery.

  33. Interesting Marney. That is why we want people to really understand that these ‘high achiever’ magnets are not programs for the gifted as many think. It’s the same curriculum, etc. The teaching techniques can be innovative – and that is why Kittredge was supposed to serve as a teacher training ground. But that never happened. There is no communication from Kittredge to other schools in DeKalb. It’s too bad, other schools could serve their students well by emulating some of the things they do at KMS.

  34. former dekalb parent says:

    Just putting this out there– when we left DeKalb, we had one that had just won the “Kittredge” lottery. We gave up that and a coveted Pre K spot to get the heck out of DeKalb. I thought if nothing else, Kittredge would put my gifted child in a better pool of children, teachers and parents who “got it” and wanted success for their children. these folks are all over the county, or they were then, I fear many have gone on to greener pastures. Has the move been a success? Maybe, maybe not, but my children are in an environment where the focus is the children and giving them every opportunity to be successful with their education.

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