Which DeKalb Schools Are Beating The Odds

Is your school beating the odds?

(This article was last updated 12/23/2017)
Yesterday the Governor’s Office of Student Affairs (GOSA) released the 2017 Beating the Odds results.
Beating the Odds is a statistical analysis that compares a school’s actual performance on the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) with the performance of schools with similar characteristics across the state. Schools that perform higher than similar schools are considered “Beating the Odds.”
The following school characteristics are included in the calculation:
• Percentage of economically disadvantaged students,
• Percentage of English language learners,
• Percentage of students with disabilities,
• Percentage of students in each race/ethnicity,
• School size,
• Student mobility, and
• School type (Elementary, Middle, High, and schools that span grade clusters).
What is the value of this measurement? Many data points compare schools across the county to each other. It’s challenging to extract information from these data points when each school has its own challenges.
Student Growth Percentages and this “Beating the Odds” analysis are currently the closest thing we have to comparing schools with the same challenges/advantages. It is impressive that so many Tucker schools are doing better than most of the other schools across the state with the same characteristics. However, It’s disconcerting that so many DeKalb Schools are not performing as well as other schools with similar characteristics across the state.
Tucker Cluster – I neglected to include Tucker’s results. They are quite impressive. It is the only cluster in my table to have the middle school and high school perform better than most of the other schools in their cohort. Well done Tucker.
BEATING THE ODDS (All DeKalb Schools as reported by Ty Tagami)

BEAT the odds
Chamblee Cluster Dunwoody Cluster Lakeside Cluster Tucker Cluster
Ashford Park Elementary Austin Elementary Lakeside High Brockett Elementary
Kittredge Magnet  Chesnut Elementary Pleasantdale Elementary Idlewood Elementary
Dunwoody High  Midvale Elementary
Kingsley Elementary Tucker High
Vanderlyn Elementary Tucker Middle
FAILED to beat the odds
Chamblee Charter High  Dunwoody Elementary Briarlake Elementary Livsey Elementary
Chamblee Middle  Hightower Elementary Evansdale Elementary Smoke Rise Elementary
Huntley Hills Elementary Peachtree Middle  Hawthorne Elementary
Montgomery Elementary Henderson Middle 
Henderson Mill Elementary
Oak Grove Elementary
Sagamore Hills Elementary

23 responses to “Which DeKalb Schools Are Beating The Odds

  1. Russell Carleton

    Does “failed” to beat the odds mean “did as well as we would have otherwise expected” or does it mean “performed significantly below expectations?”

  2. Schools that perform lower than other schools with similar characteristics across the state are considered “FAILED to beat the odds”.

  3. I think you are misinterpreting the results of the statistical analysis. If you read through the overview provided on the State of GA website, which provides the full results, it states that each year it is expected that roughly 40% of schools beat the odds while 60% of schools do not beat the odds. Therefore, a school either beats the odds or does not beat the odds (40 + 60 = 100 %). There is no “meeting” the odds and the terminology “failed to beat” is not present anywhere in the technical documents and appears to be a term that the AJC created. Therefore, you can be grouped with a similar group of high performing schools, do well on your scores, and still not “beat the odds.” However, that does not mean that you did not do well. Take Dunwoody Elementary, for example. For whatever reason, possibly its size, the link the GA state website provided, grouped this school with only 12 other schools across the entire state. All these schools received A or B scores. However, based on the BTO calculations, only 4 of these schools would actually beat the odds, while 8 of the schools would not beat the odds. Given all the schools appear to have high scores, I do not find this “disconcerting,” as you state in your summary above.
    I do find it “disconcerting”‘ that you did seem to evaluate the data yourself (based on the facts and actual statistical basis) and are providing an interpretation to many people that makes it sounds like these results are alarming, which they may not be.
    Note, I do think these calculations can be useful to see how well a school is using its resources or going beyond them, but they should not be used a singular piece of data, as the technical guidance states.

  4. Good job, Tucker Middle and Tucker High!

  5. I just updated the post to include the Tucker Cluster … well done.
    I like the Student Growth Percentages and this “Beating the Odds” analysis. They are currently the closest thing we have to directly comparing schools with the same challenges/advantages.

  6. Stan, What about Lakeside? According to the AJC article, they “Beat the Odds” too.

  7. Hmmm … Thanks Curious. Lakeside High School beat the odds … Well done

  8. Hmmm … Thanks Curious. Lakeside High School beat the odds … Well done LHS!!

  9. DSW2Contributor

    Rock Chapel Elementary School is one of the schools that “beat the odds”:
    Unfortunately for those children that attend Rock Chapel, Superintendent “Out of Steam Green” fired the Principal who got the school on the “Beating the Odds” list:

  10. I feel like the economic background of the student population would be shown to be the most predictive variable. However, we really don’t have that. All that is collected is Free, Reduced, and Not Free/Reduced. There can be really high variation in the Not Free/Reduced category. There’s a big difference between a family of four making $50k and one making $250k. Both would fall in Not Free/Reduced. I think that really makes it not a very good indicator for comparing schools unless we are talking about schools where we do have good indications (ie schools with large populations of Free and Reduced). In those cases, we do have pretty reliable indicators to do a regression off of.
    The analysis also doesn’t take into account the abilities of the students. Magnets schools perform at the top. DeKalb Early College Academy exceeds its predicted score by the highest margin of any school in the state. The Georgia School for the Deaf falls short of its predicted score by the highest margin. It’s not the quality of academic teaching driving that disparity.
    A regression analysis of high poverty schools only would be much more meaningful as the data backing up the analysis would be more meaningful, but only if the kids in the area didn’t have a magnet option.

  11. Richard Taylor

    I think it is bad when our players have worked hard to make playoffs, but at the end of the season have to get on the bus and go practice at Halford Stadium that is at least 30 minutes from the school. Dekalb county has some of the best athletics in the state but has perhaps some of the worst facilities in the state. Grant some improvements have been done to 5 central stadiums. Also, Dekalb needs to find a way to prevent doubleheaders, especially for the schools that have a large attendance at the games. Are there any plans to added a new stadium in east DeKalb County, you have 5 high schools in East Dekalb and no stadium within 10 miles of there campus, that they can call home.

  12. Historically, maintenance of everything at DeKalb Schools has been abysmal. Over the next 5 years, all the high school fields will be getting turf. I’d like to see an effort to get some of the smaller varsity sports played at the high school once the fields can handle it.

  13. Of the majority ELL schools in the state (48 schools), 8 of the 11 lowest performing schools are in DeKalb County. But 7 of the 10 highest concentrations of ELL learners are also in DeKalb County. The analysis apparently takes into account ELL, but I would guess that at a certain concentration level, the regression analysis doesn’t properly take into account the difficulty of educating the population. Teaching English is significantly harder when 80% of the class doesn’t speak English.
    Or do we just do a really bad educating foreigners.

  14. Mr Jester,
    Happy New Year. Thank you for trying so hard to keep us informed.
    I found this to be an interesting article and wanted to share it.
    Are there any updates on DeKalb hiring a head of HR?
    We are now beginning 2nd semester and hiring season will soon start. For our schools to be strong we need many things. One of them is the best possible staff. Hiring the best people is so important. It seems like HR has had some issues during the last year. I hope that the right person will be hired for this very critical job

  15. Hello Joy. I expect an announcement about a new Chief HR/HCM officer in the next month or two. –Stan

  16. Thank you. Hopefully, the new person will be in place in time to recruit staff for the new school year.

  17. Hopefully, the new head of HCM will have a background in HCM. Since it took a year to fill the position, we can assume Dr. Green hired another of his friends.

  18. I don’t think it’s a friend.

  19. Tongueincheek

    My question pertains to a different subject. My son goes to a school in your district. Recently his class was merged with another class because the principal claimed they didn’t want to lose FTE funding. The principal claimed the minimum class size for an ESOL class is 12-14 students. The state of GA’s DOE states that 7 is the minimum size. My son really liked his teacher and the instruction given. The teacher is no longer in that department. There were 8 teachers affected. They didn’t lose their jobs, they are n a different area of the school. The point is the principal is seemingly fabricating his reason for changing classes. The enrollment of the school has dropped this year and the school is way over staffed. Do you think the principal may be trying th hide something (enrollment wise from the county. I am curious why the principal gave an erroneous reason for merging classes.. Is this something that should be looked into?

  20. @ Tongueincheek –
    Remember that DCSD has waivers from the state, which is a different post in itself. Just because the state says that the maximum class size is “A” amount, DCSD can go above that amount.

  21. Tongueincheek

    I was talking about minimum size, not maximum size

  22. Staffing is very centralized, there is no way a principal can “hide” district employees.
    How the district staffs the school house is convoluted. This is how the Director of Allotments Scheduling & Budgets explained to me How The District Funds The School House. All these docs are a couple years old, but I don’t believe they have changed since then.
    DeKalb Schools Staffing Formula is based off the GADOE numbers and is used to calculate the number of teachers a school earns for the next year. The minimum class size dictated by the school district is larger than the minimum class size dictated by the state. You’ll notice that a school will get 1 ESOL teacher for every 11 students.
    This Class Size Waiver page has some good links. The Class Size Chart shows that ESOL classes in elementary school should have between 11 and 19 students in them.

  23. Hello
    Has someone been hired for the HCM job? If so, who is it?