Defer The Vote – General Public Consensus

Stan Jester
Stan Jester
DeKalb County
Board Of Education

70% of the participants of an online survey selected Option A until school councils started sending out school newsletters asking the community go to “an online survey and select Option B”.
The Board of Education has received numerous emails. This particular email is indicative of the emails I’m receiving now.

From: Tom
To: DeKalb Schools Board of Education
We are now sure that we made the wrong choice when we followed recommendations to vote for option B on the plan choices
We all want to build a strong school system for our children and community for our families and must consider all the factors in planning for that. Option B, which enlarges Dunwoody High School and Peachtree Charter Middle School would be a logistical nightmare from many perspectives, including staffing, construction, traffic, parking, etc.
The option (A) to build a new high school in an appropriate area and eliminate the overcrowding in our current schools makes so much more sense.
We feel that our area initially showed a preference for Option B because we wanted to keep all of the students together. However, further study reveals that is really not fair to any of the students. Therefore, we implore that Option A be selected or we request that the “final” vote be delayed until the various school councils have an opportunity for further input, just as the council from Austin has recently done.
Thank you for your consideration.

141 responses to “Defer The Vote – General Public Consensus

  1. DIO, no. You’re changing the subject again. Discipline data has ZERO evidence of the “increased gang activity” your fellow poster up there is asserting.
    Or are you joining that cause and suggesting there is valid “fear” of such “increased gang activity?” On what are you basing that fear? The discipline number???

  2. Paula Caldarella

    Their fears do have foundation in the data
    No, they don’t. How do you come to the conclusion that discipline data = gang activity?

  3. Stan, how long are you going to let the drama build here before calming us all down with the actual gang activity documented at CKHS and CCHS? I realize there is privacy and sensitivity involved but surely you can at least characterize what you know of the security situation at both schools, no?
    If not, can you request a meeting with Dr. Green and the community for this purpose? If there are genuine fears (founded or unfounded), it is incumbent upon DCSD to help our community understand what is real and what is not real. We are years away from any redistricting and emotions are ALREADY high.
    What can you do to help us keep it real?

  4. Kim: You asked what I would differently to ensure all students are educated, here it goes.
    1) DO NOT tell every student that they are going to college or even educate them as if they are going to college. Some students, rich, poor, or any ethnicity can’t handle the rigor, but sadly this is not the DCSD way. This started under Dr. Lewis and this idea has not left the building yet.
    2) Put VOTECH and CAREER READY classes back into all middle schools and expand them into the high schools. Some students are engaged a roofing a building because they go out with dad on the weekends. Teach them the how’s and why’s to do it correctly and expand it every year. Guess what you just taught a student who would probably fail a normal Geometry class, Geometry. The student just did not know it.
    3) DO NOT let Dr. Green keep asking the state for waivers to increase class sizes every year. Take classes back to where we were when Zell Miller was Governor. All schools were awesome then. When a teacher has so many kids in the classroom, they lose that one on one connection that the student and the teacher need to grow and learn.
    Many classrooms were built to the state minimum for class sizes in the early 90’s and the normal class size back then was 22 – 24. Now we have some classes that have 40 kids sitting in the class. When the student knows that the teacher can not get to them, they don’t care. All a student wants is for someone to care for them and nurture them. For many students, the only place they feel loved and cared for is in the school house.
    4) Stop having the schoolhouse live on a shoestring budget while the central office is living high off the hog. Have central office stop making up “Executive Director of This” and “Executive Director of That”. Put the money in the classroom. A teacher or student should not be waiting for 20 – 30 minutes for a laptop to start every day, but this is happening daily throughout the county. Put full-time translators in all schools that need them, not just one day here and one day there.
    This last one may ruffle feathers. CHANGE THE CONSTITUTION IN THE STATE OF GEORGIA. Let newly formed cities form their own school systems. Keep the dollars local. You can always do more at the local level with your voice than you can at a much larger area. Look at Decatur, Marietta, and Gainesville. The data speaks for itself.

  5. Lynn: “So yes, Chamblee is going to be front and center over CKHS when it comes to headline news.”
    This gave me a good chuckle. Must have been a slow news week at CCHS when WSB2 and ABC covered this “gang member activity:”

  6. Lynn, I don’t recall asking but you have some good points. And I fully support the right of municipalities to form school districts.

  7. So what is your position on the cost of policing the crime the CK kids will bring to CCHS (presumably), DIO?
    I thought that comment was for me. OOPS. I guess I help DIO out.

  8. I don’t recall seeing statistics on specifically gang related activity. The CKHS council should be able aptly characterize the security situation there.
    At a policy level, I’m not a big fan of gang activity.

  9. Kim, please tell me where I have said anything about “Gang Activity” in any thread. I haven’t so please do not throw that at me. You are just helping me prove my point that we need lower class sizes and not these mega schools that are being. Also, all the articles you keep bring up, except one, happened when guess what… THE SCHOOL WAS UNDER CONSTRUCTION. All the more reason for me to be skeptical of teaching and construction happening at once.

  10. Stan, I don’t think your posters will trust anyone with “CK” associated with their introduction. Will you host or ask Dr. Green to host a townhall on this very important topic?

  11. Lynn, not throwing that at you – apologies. I am adopting the terms used by another poster until they substantiate them. Which they haven’t, of course. No worries. I respect your view on classroom size and school capacity.

  12. chamblee getting screwed

    Kim – I stand by my statement. There is significantly more gang activity and severe discipline problems at Cross keys than at the other two high schools COMBINED. I have numbers to back up the suspensions. What do you have? From what I’ve seen, the only thing you’ve shown is a few news stories. Where are your hard quantitative facts?
    And also let me know how my tax dollars are going to be spent by having to employ more City
    Of Chamblee police to deal with a 50% increase in the student body.

  13. Blah, blah, blah. Now you’re contradicting Stan, too. Discipline data has NOTHING to do with gang activity. For the umpteenth time, where are yout citing CK student “gang activity? “

  14. chamblee getting screwed

    It absolutely does. High degree of correlation. I’ll pull police reports and compare crime on BuHi vs elsewhere. Again facts.

  15. chamblee getting screwed

    Oh..lookie here… since Gokce likes to share news stories, here’s one that just popped up on my news feed. Heart of Cross Keys right here. Nope, no gang activity here folks. Kim Gokce said so.

  16. Again, changing the subject. Lol. I admire your commitment to confuse the issue. Valiant effort.

  17. I’d be happy to help the Cross Keys School Council and Principal bring in a knowledgeable person from the administration for a presentation at any school council meeting (or town hall setup by the council/principal) on any topic they like.

  18. Paula Caldarella

    There are 35 separate categories that are included in the “discipline” reported data. Within those 35 categories there are 3 separate levels of severity:
     Academic Dishonesty
     Alcohol
     Arson
     Battery
     Bullying
     Burglary
     Computer Trespass
     Disorderly Conduct
     Drugs not Alcohol
     Fighting
     Gang Related
     Homicide
     Kidnapping
     Larceny/Theft
     Motor Vehicle Theft
     Robbery
     Sexual Battery
     Sexual Harassment
     Sex Offenses
     Threat/Intimidation
     Tobacco
     Trespassing
     Vandalism
     Weapon: Knife
     Weapon: Handgun
     Weapon: Rifle
     Weapon: Other
     Weapon: Other Firearm
     Serious Bodily Injury
     Other: Attendance Related
     Other: Dress Code
     Other: Possess Unapproved Item
     Other: Student Incivility
     Other: Discipline Incident
     Repeated Offenses
     Other Non-Discipline Incident
    Source: GADOE Discipline Matrix
    The data gathered is only useful if the school administrators report the incidents honestly. In the past, Gwinnett County schools have come under fire for not reporting their incidents properly.
    For the 2016, school year:
    Reported Gang Related Incidents:
    Cross Keys HS – 2
    Chamblee Charter HS – 0
    Dunwoody HS – 2
    The data does not specify if these incidents were:
    Gang Related 1- NA
    Gang Related 2- Wearing or possession of gang-related apparel; conveying personal
    membership or affiliation with a gang
    Gang Related 3- Gang-related solicitation, violence, threats, defacement of property
    GADOE Student Discipline Resources can be found here:
    GADOE Student Discipline
    And as Kim pointed out, Cross Keys had 287 dress code “incidents”.

  19. Stan, are you not concerned about the alleged increasing gang activity like “screwed” and “DIO” are at CCHS due to the CK kids moved this past year and those that may move in the coming years? If not, please state that fact clearly.
    It’s hard to tell in electronic form but your comment above sounds like a complete dismissal of the concern by Chamblee stakeholders.

  20. Wow, Paula, that sure takes all the fun out of arguing. So, we have 2 incidents at DHS and CKHS. Being familiar with such incidents I know these could include wearing shoe laces of a certain color to “show” as a wannabe for a gang. Good Lord!

  21. Paula Caldarella

    I know these could include wearing shoe laces of a certain color to “show” as a wannabe for a gang. Good Lord!

  22. Dekalb Inside Out

    Butt Munch, To your point about the accuracy of the data. We don’t know how uniformly tough or accurate each school is in categorizing the incidents when comparing one school to another.

  23. chamblee getting screwed

    Paula – nice try. 287 dress code incidents do not result in a suspension rate DOUBLE that of Chamblee or Dunwoody.

  24. But Mr. or Ms. Screwed what about the gang activity? Did you miss that? Or do your eyes automatically slam shut in the face of data you don’t like.
    On suspensions, I actually believe that (in the past, at least) I have heard CK admin has suspended students who repeat offend on dress code. Nasty little gangsters!
    I’ll see if I can get confirmation of that data for you to ignore, too. Any other homework you need done for you?

  25. DIO, we also know that minority students, particularly males, are much more often targeted for discipline than non-minority students. This is a national trend that has been validated over and over in research. Sooooo ….. is it fair to say that higher numbers of minorities a school has the more this dynamic might be present? Of course.
    And for the uninformed, this has nothing to do with white vs black – minority teachers are equally likely to “target” minority boys as non-minority teachers.

  26. chamblee getting screwed

    Gokce – you still haven’t told me why CKHS has twice the suspension rate of other area schools. I’ve been waiting all day. Clearly you have no explanation. And you are just mad that it’s been shown that Cross Keys isn’t the illusionary utopia you make it out to be.

  27. Mad. Lol. Oooooh! You got me there. You win. CK sucks and is full of gangsters. This has been a total waste of time.
    Except for Paula sharing actual data there’s been no light and a whole bunch of heat. Sorry to other readers! I thought “Screwed” and I might actually make progress. I was wrong again.

  28. In DeKalb, men and women of color are especially in need of support related to educational success, employment opportunities, disciplinary infractions, interactions with law enforcement and incarceration. Gang activity is a subset of the issues I’m concerned with across the district.

  29. “Screwed” … Utopia? hahaha. You’ve gone from calling CK kids gangsters to claiming that I have a rosy-eyed view of them. No matter how much you spew disdain for me personally or for our CK kids collectively you are only perpetuating a sad myth that has mislead too many for many, many years.
    Your type of tired, old insults of our kids had already been around a long time when one extraordinarily observant CK student wrote about it in 2012:
    “We won’t let others’ ignorance define who we are. But I do wonder, if they are so swift in judging our children how do they judge their own children?”
    [links removed at commentor’s request]

  30. Paula Caldarella

    Gokce – you still haven’t told me why CKHS has twice the suspension rate of other area schools. I’ve been waiting all day
    Since suspensions are, for the most part, determined by the administrations of each individual school you may want to direct your question to the principals of CKHS and CCHS.

  31. Screwed – you still haven’t told me why CCHS will have increased gang activity. I’ve been waiting all day. Clearly you have no explanation. And you are just mad that it’s been shown that Cross Keys isn’t the crime cesspool you make it out to be?

  32. chamblee getting screwed

    Gokce – Do you have a child at Chamblee High and have a thorough understanding of the daily lives of the kids there? If not, then shut the hell up.

  33. Screwed – Do you have a child at Cross Keys High and have a thorough understanding of the daily lives of the kids there? If not, … I won’t hold it against you.

  34. Also Screwed, I did some more homework for you and spoke with the current CKHS Principal. He confirmed what you scoffed at above: CK did aggressively report uniform violations in past years including suspensions related to the dress code. He indicated that they have loosened up on that this year and invited you personally to come over and spend time with his team and the kids. He repeated what I have heard from educators all over DeKalb: CK has the quietest halls, the most respectful kids and among the fewest “real” discipline problems.
    You can arrange a VIP tour by calling Mr. Jason Heard at 678-874-6102

  35. Lastly (he said with undue optimism), I will speak with Dr. Sauce about his experience so far this year. He is part of a regional team that is tracking issues and gaps in the current year redistricting for the community. He and his team have done a great job to date working with the former CK students and families. I see no reason for your pessimism but that is your right.

  36. Stan, I humbly request you delete my two comments with the bad news reports. The kids deserve better. The argument was a waste as my worthy opponent ignored them anyway. I don’t want disparaging posts here about CCHS. It is a great school and ignorance about CK isn’t reason enough to leave those links here.

  37. Thanks, Stan. I intended for this editorial to stay and only lose the links to the CCHS related crimes:

  38. chamblee getting screwed

    If you don’t have a kid at one of these schools ( and it’s clear you don’t), you haven’t a clue. That’s all I’m going to say abou that.

  39. If that’s all that qualifies a comment, then leave me alone. I’m in a Chamblee feeder and had three years in a CK a feeder before that. Happy?

  40. chamblee getting screwed

    Do you have a child at either Cross Keys or Chambleee High school? The answer, for you, is no. You are therefore not seeing the entire picture.

  41. LOL. So I should wilfully maintain ignorance of our area HSes until my kid is enrolled? Not a strategy I recommend to any parent or neighbor who cares about public education.
    Based on your metric our Board of Education Member for D1 has no valid opinion; our Superintendent of Schools has no valid opinion. How is that sensical?
    I’ve passed hundreds (no exaggeration) of hours in both schools and hundreds more in their ES and MS feeders since 2007. I have years-long relationships with students and former students. I would love t introduce you to the thirty young people that were at my home for an annual holiday party this week and have you check with them about my knowledge of CK, in particular.
    That said, I still acknowledge that my opinion is still only one opinion. I do not attempt to question your qualifications and respect that you have every right to your opinion, too. Why do you not reciprocate? Simply because we disagree?