Nancy Jester is a tireless advocate for children and taxpayers in Georgia. Nancy was elected to serve on the DeKalb Board of Education and became the first person to find and publish deceptive budgeting practices that plundered the accumulated reserves of the 3rd largest school system in Georgia. She is currently the Commissioner for DeKalb County District 1 and frequently sends out notes and updates across the county and state.
Recently she gave a legislative update to the Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce and gave the Inspirational Speech at the DeKalb County Board of Education saying,
“I’ve heard officials talk about we’re making progress and that should count. It is right to note that we have made some progress and I commend you and the leaders and teachers in the schools. But, it’s also important to talk about relative progress. Because, as somebody that really enjoys looking at the data, we know there is a trend toward progress. So, we have to dis-aggregate what is the noise of progress, what is the flow of progress from what is really achievement increasing.”
She followed that up recently with this email update on education and economic development:
By: Nancy Jester
DeKalb County Commissioner District 1
If you are wondering what “progress” DeKalb schools has made, here’s a table of the 2014 CCRPI data. Out of 10 school districts in the metro area, DeKalb is last place for aggregate achievement in elementary and middle schools. It is circling the drain with APS and Clayton in High School achievement. Please note that Valdosta city schools outperform DeKalb’s elementary schools by 17% points despite the fact that they have 24% points more economically disadvantaged students than DeKalb.
In a report last year, Angelou Economics concluded a market assessment with these sobering facts. Compared to the benchmark counties, DeKalb:
1.Had the highest rates of violent and property crimes.
2.Had the lowest population growth from 2000-2013.
3.Was the only county to have negative employment growth.
4.Has the highest percentage of rental units; a sign of instability.
The report specifically cited the educational system as a weakness and a threat to improving economic conditions.