Board Of Education
On Monday, the school board passed the DATE charter renewal petition, but not before an interesting conversation and perspective on charters and failing schools in DeKalb.
McNair Elementary has failed children for a generation, had the lowest elementary CCRPI scores in the district in 2014 and is at the top of the Opportunity School District List. Many parents zoned to McNair choose to send their child to the DeKalb Academy of Technology & Environment (DATE) charter school located in Stone Mountain and whose scores are an improvement over many of the other choices.
During the DATE charter board discussion, I pointed out that charters like DATE with long waiting lists (300+ students) are indicators of things going well in DeKalb. The waiting list is a market signal to that they are doing something right. Demand for this school is higher than what they can handle. People are choosing this environment for their child. The school district should figure out what DATE is doing to attract parents to choose this school. That would help DeKalb build a road map to improve academic achievement at poorly performing schools.
Marlon Walker is the AJC reporter that covers DeKalb Schools and wrote the following article about the ensuing board discussion.
Questions of racial bias surface at DeKalb school board meeting
By: Marlon A. Walker – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution