DeKalb Turnaround Eligible Schools Trends 2015-2017

The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement calculates an annual Turnaround Eligible Schools list. Identified schools have a three-year average College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) score that is in the bottom five percent of the state.
.pdf link icon Turnaround Eligible Schools List (Updated November 3, 2017)

DeKalb Schools Removed/Added – Georgia School Turnaround Lists (2015 – 2017)
Within the last couple of years, DeKalb Schools has created a Student Support and Intervention Division to provide “Wrap Around Services” and address the diverse needs of students and families. The school district has also flooded failing schools with paraprofessionals (parapros), social workers, teacher coaches, etc … DeKalb Schools has added over 1,000 school house full/part time employees across the district since 2014.
2017 (Georgia Turnaround-Eligible Schools – 16 total schools on list)
• Stone Mountain ES (added)
• Canby Lane ES (removed
• Cedar Grove MS (removed)
• Chapel Hill ES (removed)
• Columbia ES (removed)
• E.L. Miller MS (removed)
• Flat Rock ES (removed)
• Jolly ES (removed)
• Mary McLeod Bethune MS (removed)
• McNair MS (removed)
• Rowland ES (removed)
2016 (Georgia Chronically Failing Schools – 25 total schools on list)
• Allgood ES (removed)
• Cedar Grove ES (removed)
• Freedom MS (removed)
• Stone Mountain HS (removed)
• Woodward Elementary School (removed)
• Dresden (added)
• Jolly (added)
• Mary McLeod Bethune MS (added)
• Rowland ES (added)
2015 (Georgia Opportunity School District – 28 total schools on list)
• Salem MS (removed)
• Towers HS (removed)

The State Considers How To Turn Around Low Performing Schools
Members of the Georgia state board of education met recently to discuss how they’ll start the process of turning around struggling schools. The state’s efforts to turn around failing schools is thus far nebulous at best.
As reported by WABE Radio, officials haven’t decided when any school improvement efforts would begin or which schools they would target. However, the state board of education has hired a “chief turnaround officer” to lead the initiative.
Many aspects of the current effort remain unknown. Among them: How many schools would receive help; what that help would look like; and how much it would all cost.

House Bill 338 was passed earlier this session. It is a slimmed down version of the Opportunity School District resolution that doesn’t require a constitutional amendment.
It calls for a Chief Turnaround Officer, which the state hired last week–regional-education/georgia-hires-first-school-turnaround-chief/b0iQXUlApwqQZp9EbjnBNK/

10 responses to “DeKalb Turnaround Eligible Schools Trends 2015-2017

  1. Stan,
    Does the BOE know what these “Wrap Around Services” are and where they are deployed? Does the BOE know the cost of these “Wrap Around Services?”
    More importantly, how is the effectiveness of these “Wrap Around Services” being evaluated?
    For example, in the 2016-17 school year the District offered bonuses to new teachers, with larger amounts for hard-to-fill positions. The bonuses were higher in Regions 4 and 5.
    But those bonuses were not offered for the 2017-18 school year. Do you know why?
    Was it too expensive? Did it not prove effective, by whatever metric? Or did someone shout “squirrel!” and off we went in a different direction.
    If you have any information that you can share with the public, please do. I’m not necessarily opposed to “Wrap Around Services,” but I need to have confidence that the BOE knows what they are, where they are and why, how much they cost, and whether they work or not.

  2. Russell Carleton

    Here’s a link to a full program evaluation done on a Wraparound program done in Boston. The results showed that in addition to helping students, the costs of the program were actually outweighed by the cost savings achieved through the outcomes associated with the program. For example, if fewer kids are retained in their grade, that represents a cost savings to the school district.

  3. The cost of these Wrap Around Services is becoming more unclear as these services grow. Social workers, paras, teacher coaches, health care bus, smaller class size, supporting central office staff, program after program … the Superintendent is throwing millions and millions at this.
    I would like to get a handle on these costs. We currently track in the budget the employees allotted to a school. I asked the CFO today if we could identify and get a cost for all the adults employed at any given school. There was some push back on that.
    I’m not happy with the lack of ROI reporting, but 10 schools removed from the list and increased graduation rates isn’t bad.

  4. Stan,
    did the 10 schools removed from the list have Wrap Around Services? For how many years?
    And since the Turnaround Eligible Schools are the bottom 5%, do we know if the 10 DCSD schools removed from the list really improved, or did other schools in other districts just get worse?
    I am very disappointed that the District doesn’t know, and doesn’t seem to want to know, how many adults are employed at any given school. Is this because some adults serve more than 1 school? But if they serve 3 schools, then each school should get 33% of their salary/benefits. What’s so hard about that?
    I think the BOE has to ask and keep asking. Do BOE members send emails with requests to Dr. Green too? The only thing that the public knows about are the questions asked in Work Sessions, and it isn’t clear how responsive the District is. Further, really detailed requests need to be written down.

  5. Russell Carleton

    There isn’t a discount way to do WRAPAROUND. It’s specifically meant to mass services for those most in need. The research has shown that especially when a student is facing multiple needs, this is a good way to help.
    I’m all for making sure that the program is producing a positive ROI, but while the upfront costs are large, the economic consequences of the outcomes that they are meant to deter (dropping out) are even bigger. The economic impact to society of one additional person graduating from high school is estimated in the low-to-mid-6 figures.
    Aside from the benefits that come from improving people’s lives, even if someone was only concerned about the cost-benefit on their own tax dollar, the evidence points to WRAPAROUND still being a good value.

  6. Stan,
    I’d like to know how the superintendent and board evaluate any of the school district’s programs or organizational changes. In May, 2016, the board approved regional cabinets. I’ve yet to see one thing indicating how this organization change with an additional budget is being measured. More recently, the board approved funding new curricula units and an additional communications budget. If the personnel involved,paid for by these things, are the ones presenting the evaluations, how can the board be sure the information is valid and comprehensive?

  7. As a long-time DeKalb teacher, I would be willing to teach in one of the failing schools if they gave me a big raise…..maybe $10,000 a year. I’m serious. I have been teaching an intervention class for years and know how to bring failing students up to benchmark.

  8. Mr Jester,
    I have posted the link for the BOE Meeting for the HR Report. It is the same kind of report posted last momth. Do citizens no longer have the right to be informed of the people leaving and coming into the system? The timing of this is very strange. There have been articles in the AJC related to DeKalb hiring practices. So if nothing is posted, no one can ask questions or make comments.
    Can’t our new increased communications department work with HR to provide us a more detailed HR Report
    “The communications department budget is up nearly 300 percent, with a staff that now includes a chief communications and community relations officer, a director of strategic communications and marketing, and three other staffers. Department officials insist a district the size of DeKalb was severely understaffed at its previous size. In an email, the district lists an improved customer service experience and enhanced digital communications outreach among its successes.

  9. Hello @Joy,
    For better or for worse, the HCM report is run at the last minute. By the board meeting on Monday, I expect more docs to be posted. After the board meeting, they’ll post even more docs. Here are all the docs that are currently posted from last month’s HCM report:
    .pdf link iconNovember 2017 Human Capital Management Report
    .pdf link iconUpdated November 2017 Human Capital Management Report (distributed 11.6.2017)
    .pdf link iconHuman Capital Monthly Report (distributed 11.6.2017)
    .pdf link iconDistrict Comparison Comparison Chart (distributed 11.6.2017)
    .pdf link iconVacancy Report (distributed 11.6.2017)

  10. Mr Jester,
    I appreciate the extra effort it took to provide this information. Thank you.