Video and Transcript
Melvin Johnson (Chair – School Board)
We are pleased and privileged to have our inspiration and pledge by our board member, Mr. Stan Jester.
Stan Jester (School Board)
Recently I was told, I am responsible for the inspiration at this board meeting. I knew who I needed to call, that would be Tony Robbins. Unfortunately, Tony Robbins couldn’t make it, so I decided to call on the one person who I know is the biggest advocate for children and tax payers across this county and across this state. That’s Commissioner Nancy Jester. She’ll be giving us the inspiration today.
Nancy Jester (DeKalb County Commissioner)
Thank you so much. It’s really my pleasure to be here. It’s great to be among friends and folks that are working hard on education every day. I know first hand what you do isn’t easy and I commend you all for the work that you do. Alia, I really love that you want to have a high paying job in corporate america. Stick with that, that’s my advice to you. That was inspiring to me to hear that. Thanks for being with us.
I had the privilege this weekend to officiate the Ivy Prep Charter School lottery. That was a wonderful experience. It drove home how much that parents want choices. And, those choices mean different things for different people. Sometimes it’s just a different environment, sometimes it’s the teachers there, the size of the school, the fact they have uniforms. But, parents want choices and they’re voting with their feet in large numbers.
On average, across the state, about 300 kids are waiting lists at every charter school. 12,000 in the state are on waiting lists. I would encourage DeKalb County and all counties to look at ways to make those waiting lists smaller so parents can have the opportunity to be in charge of their child’s educational destiny.
While I’m talking about education, I wanted to talk about how it is linked very closely with economic development. I come before you as a Commissioner. This is one of the big focuses, obviously, of county government, making sure that we can have thriving communities. That folks are invested in our communities. That creates the resources and opportunities for our schools and for our citizens and our children.
I think that city hood and annexation movements and all the dissatisfaction that we’ve heard, they’re signals to us. We ignore them at our peril. They are signals that people want something different and they are voting with their feet to get that. I don’t think that pressure is likely to abate. So, I think we need to address the problems head on.
One of the things I wanted to say, I know we heard in the news recently about the Governor’s Opportunity School District where lower performing schools can be put into the Opportunity School District and be reconstituted under new management. Of course DeKalb had a large number of schools that could potentially qualify for this Opportunity District.
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 disaggregate what is the noise of progress, what is the flow of progress from what is really achievement increasing.
So, let’s look at DeKalb and the 2014 CCRPI, the new index for achievement and progress in our schools. When we look at that and break it down and look at the metro counties around us and the city schools around us, Decatur, Marietta and so forth … In our elementary schools, DeKalb County remains dead last. We’re at the bottom of the CCRPI. We also have the lowest progress there. We’re dead last and we’re improving but at a slower rate than other people. So, that leaves us in a worse relative position.
Middle Schools, we’re also in last place. In High School, we are third from the bottom, but clustered very close to the bottom with APS and Clayton. So, I think it’s important to note the relativity there. We have to be making progress faster in order to be competitive. This is one of the most important things that is affecting economic development in our county.
Some of you may recall that recently the Georgia Commissioner for Economic Development said that outside the perimeter area, DeKalb is getting very very very few looks at economic development. And, of course, education is critical for that.
So, my prayer is that you’re inspired today to look closely at that. To really align how you’re spending resources with the productive … [interrupted by Board Chair, Melvin Johnson]
Ms. Jester … Mrs. Jester … We appreciate your remarks and comments.
I’m almost done. So, I think you should allow me to continue …
We need to move on …
What I would like to say to you is …
Let us all stand for the pledge …
- Moving the Magnet and the Middle School In Chamblee
- DeKalb E-SPLOST Program Budget and GO Bonds
- FY2020 Salaries & Budget
- Notice of Property Tax Increase
- FY2020 – Tentative Budget
- HR and Financial Disarray – Report From State Audit
- $3,000 Raise – Q&A With The CFO
- Yea or Nay – Graduation Ceremonies at GWCC
- $3,000 – Teacher Raises Around Metro Atlanta
- Superintendent Green – Resignation Letter
- Chamblee – Jester Community Town Hall
- Options To Address E-SPLOST Budget Issues
- FY2020 – Tentative Budget – No Raise For Teachers
- Austin Elementary in the Crier
- Jester Community Town Hall
- Naming – New Elementary School in Doraville
- First Amendment At DeKalb Schools
- E-SPLOST Budget Overruns and Projects on Hold
- Old Austin Elementary School – Need Input
- Gym Floor Space By High School
- 1,000 More Seats Are Coming to Dunwoody High School
- Employee Compensation Update – March 30, 2019
- Expected 2019 Graduation Rate
- State Attorney General Not A Fan of Mini Sessions
- New Visitor and Volunteer Policy
- Call For Independent Auditor and Ethics Officer
- Employee Compensation Update – Feb 27, 2019
- Procurement Assessment Indicates Fraud at DeKalb Schools
- Enrollment Forecasting – How Does That Work
- Smaller Schools Are Better Schools
- DeKalb Schools Board Public Retreat
- Need Input – New Salary Schedules
- News Flash – Compensation Letter
- News & Updates – 2/5/2019
- Building Additions Vs Redistricting & Consolidating
- Architect’s Preliminary Report Chamblee Charter HS Building Additions
- Questions – New Teacher Salary Schedule
- Chamblee Cluster 7-Year Enrollment Forecasts
- Announcement – Compensation & Classification Salary Adjustments
- Update On Phase 2 Salary Steps for All Staff
- Chamblee Redistricting Superintendent Recommendation
- Dunwoody 7-Year Enrollment Forecasts
- 2019 Salary Schedules And Comparison
- New Step Structures for DeKalb Teachers
- 2018 CCRPI
- Chamblee Redistricting Options – Meeting 3
- College Admissions 101
- Graduation Schedule – DeKalb Schools Class of 2019
- DeKalb Schools 2018 CCRPI Scores
- Visitor and Volunteer Policy – Part II
- Chamblee Redistricting Options – Meeting 2
- Make Chamblee Charter HS Better Not Bigger
- Free Speech … For Some At DeKalb Schools … Part II
- DeKalb Schools Visitor and Volunteer Policy
- DeKalb Schools 2019-2020 Calendar
- Make Lakeside HS Better Not Bigger
- DeKalb Schools 2018 Graduation Rates
- Redistricting For Schools in Chamblee & Brookhaven
- News & Updates – 8/30/2018
- Delay in New Austin ES Opening
- School Readiness Report 2018-2019
- GOP Governor Runoff – Kemp has the Mo
- DeKalb Teachers Get a 2.5% Raise And Start Stepping
- July 2018 – New And Open Principal Report
- Chamblee German Teacher Controversy
- June 2018 – New And Open Principal Report
- Dr. Donnie Davis – New Peachtree Charter MS Principal
- TSA & Annexation – Legal Update
- School Councils Are Now Principal Advisory Councils
- City of Brookhaven Not a Fan of Briarcliff HS Site
- Support for DCSD Bus Drivers
- DeKalb Schools FY 2019 Preliminary Budget
- DeKalb Bus Driver Sick Out
- Location of New Cross Keys Brookhaven High School
- Where to Build the New Cross Keys Brookhaven High School
- Policy Input – Magnet Students Participate in Sports
- Dunwoody HS Trailer Park
- Metal Detectors at YOUR School
- Building Additions – Project Plan and Schedule
- Student Protests Wed – The Plan – County by County
- School Safety – What's the Plan?
- News & Updates – 2/23/2018
- DeKalb Schools New Hires
- Mega High School Construction Update
- Virtual Learning Make Up Days
- Adequate Space Requirements For Mega High Schools
- Student Chromebooks – Update
- Survey – Making Up Days Lost to Inclement Weather
- Lakeside HS Council Not A Fan of the Building Additions
- DeKalb Schools Make Up Days
- DeKalb Schools 2018 – 2020 Calendar
- Which DeKalb Schools Are Beating The Odds
- Protesting Cheerleaders at DHS – The Whole Story
- 2018-2020 Calendar Options
- Emergency Weather – What's The Plan?
- Atlanta & Atlanta Public Schools Annexing DeKalb
- Kids Doc on Wheels Medical Van
- DeKalb Schools 2017 Turnaround, Priority & Focus Schools
- Class of 2018 Graduation Ceremonies Schedule
- 2018-2020 Calendar Update