Monthly Archives: June 2014

Board Election Runoffs – Charters Are Wedge Issue

School Choice

Last night, Leadership DeKalb held a Board of Education candidate runoff forum.  As Ty Tagami reported in the AJC, Charter Schools is the issue differentiating the candidates.
Voters will decide in a Runoff Election on July 22nd if the board will advocate for charters or not.  The board narrowly voted down the Druid Hills Charter Cluster last year at the end of a contentious debate.
District #3
Michael Erwin – Voted ‘No’ on DHCC
Atticus LeBlanc – Pro Charter
District #4
Karen Carter – Voted ‘No’ on DHCC
Jim McMahan – Voted ‘Yes’ on DHCC
District #5
Thad Mayfield – Voted ‘Yes’ on DHCC
Vickie Turner – Opposes charters
Atticus LeBlanc said it best when he said,

“Since the new board was appointed 16 months ago, there hasn’t been a single policy change affecting the management structure of our schools. We still have high level administrators at the top delegating down to the local schools. We still have just as many amazing parents that are being ignored. We are still losing great teachers at alarming rates.

With the notable exception of Tapestry Charter School (which focuses on autistic students, and whose debate [was] unnecessarily contentious), our board has still not given our children any additional opportunities to improve their education. While KIPP, Drew Charter, and The Museum School continue to outperform the vast majority of schools in the state and serve as models of student achievement, our Board has done nothing to either bring more of these types of schools to DeKalb, or to even attempt to model the best practices from these or other successful schools in our own public education system.

When McNair High School has a 44% graduation rate compared to 93% for KIPP, and the demographic and socioeconomic breakdown of the student body is virtually identical, shouldn’t we as stakeholders expect our Board of Education to at least start to make fundamental policy changes to address these disparities? Or should we continue to “be patient” while more students fall through the cracks?”

News Release – 2014 CRCT RESULTS

DeKalb Schools Logo
News Release:

DeKalb Schools sent out a News Release with their take on the 2014 CRCT results saying,

DeKalb County, GA (June 25, 2014) – According to recently released Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) for grades 3-8, DeKalb County students demonstrated performance gains equal to students statewide and have shown year-to-year aggregate performance improvement in four of five subject areas.
A more rigorous test for mathematics resulted in a decline in the number of students meeting or exceeding standards from the previous year.

Did it occur to anyone the other 4 subject areas might be less rigorous?

  2012-2013 2013-2014 No. of students meeting or exceeding standards
Reading 88.2% 89.2% (+)478
ELA 84.7 84.9 (+)204
Science 63.6 64.4 (+)469
Social Studies 67.0 67.4 (+)264
Mathematics 71.9 70.6 (-)453

Note that after 14 years, the Georgia Milestones test will replace CRCT and EOCT starting next year. Georgia Milestones will be aligned with Common Core and will be touted as a tougher, more rigorous test. State educators admitted the comparatively low average scores on national tests such as the SAT was indicative of the low threshold for meeting the state’s standards and wasn’t doing Georgia’s students any favors.  Continue Reading Here >>