Monthly Archives: November 2016

Hispanic and English Learner Graduation Rates

Where should Hispanic and English Language Learners go to high school for the best chance to graduate?
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One of the main goals of breaking up the Doraville area and current Cross Keys cluster seems to be motivated by race and socio economics.
Many people and some foundations recommend divvying up the elementary schools in the Doraville area and Cross Keys cluster, which are heavily populated by hispanics and english language learners, and spreading them across all the various clusters in North DeKalb.
Where should Hispanic and English Language Learners go to high school for the best chance to graduate? According to the GaDOE 4 Year Cohort 2016 Graduation Rates, the answer is Cross Keys High School. I can only surmise that whatever is going on with the Hispanic and English Learner populations at LHS, DHS and CCHS will be exacerbated by increasing the capacity at those schools.

School Graduation Rate – English Learners
Cross Keys High School 56.8%
Dunwoody High School 31.0%
Lakeside High School 26.3%
Chamblee Charter High School Too Few Students
School Graduation Rate – Hispanics
Cross Keys High School 70.2%
Lakeside High School 62.5%
Chamblee Charter High School 59.5%
Dunwoody High School 57.6%

Thai (a commenter on this blog) observed, “Keeping Pleasantdale in LHS will not help the Pleasantdale kids, keeping Hightower in DHS will not help the Hightower kids, and putting Cary Reynolds into Chamblee Charter HS won’t help the Cary Reynolds kids. Those three schools all have lower graduation rates than CKHS for the Hispanic and English Learner subgroup. These kids are better off going to a new HS that can emulate CKHS. It is better for EVERYONE if Sagamore goes back to LHS and Pleasantdale goes to a new Doraville HS.”
From a comment below, “From the data presented above, it looks like there is a “secret sauce” at Cross Keys.
• Does anyone know what that recipe is?
• Can that recipe be duplicated at the other schools? ”
What are your thoughts on this?

Doraville – Where SPLOST Projects Go To Die

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I’m beginning to wonder if Doraville, the only city without a High School, is actually where SPLOST projects go to die. Everything that gets promised, everything that seems rational and logical where Doraville is concerned, just seems to disappear.
In a letter dated November 18, 2016, Donna Pittman, the Mayor of Doraville, wrote to Superintendent Green thanking him for dedicating the $5 million in E-SPLOST monies to Doraville. Interestingly, Mayor Pittman recaps their recent meeting with the Superintendent saying, “Thank you also for listening to me tirelessly advocate for a high school in Doraville.”
Either the Superintendent wasn’t paying attention or he forgot, because at the last E-SPLOST project list presentation to the board, I specifically asked the Superintendent if the Mayor of Doraville advocated for a high school. The Superintendent responded ‘no’. If you click on E-SPLOST project list presentation, you can see the latest E-SPLOST V presentation, read a transcript of the board Q&A, and watch the video for this agenda item. If you go to the last few minutes of the video you will hear the discussion where the Superintendent states that there was no discussion of a high school for Doraville.
There seems to be a number of crossed wires. In addition to the confusion about a high school, when asked to comment about the last meeting with Mayor Pittman, Dr. Green said “the Mayor didn’t realize at the time that a new elementary school would be brought into the area.” Strangely, the school district’s most recent E-SPLOST project list (presented at the very same board meeting) doesn’t include a new elementary to that area. So for those keeping score, here’s what we have:
(1) The Mayor thanks the Superintendent for listening to her “tirelessly advocated for a Doraville High School”
(2) The Superintendent doesn’t recall any discussion about a high school for Doraville despite receiving gratitude from the Mayor for listening to her advocacy at their last meeting
(3) The Superintendent told the Mayor at their last meeting that Doraville was getting a new elementary school
(4) The latest plan doesn’t have a new elementary school for Doraville.
(5) And, of course, everyone continues to ignore the obvious need for Doraville to have their own high school.
I asked for clarity from Dr. Green regarding these discrepancies. He said it would take 3 weeks to get back to me. I will get an answer to this question and others on Friday Dec 2. It’s all very peculiar.

From: Donna Pittman
Title: Mayor, City of Doraville
Date: November 18, 2016

Dear Dr. Green:
Thank you for speaking with us today. I wanted to say that we really appreciate the efforts you have made to dedicate SPLOST dollars to schools in Doraville. The money for the renovations of Cary Reynolds is much needed and a long time coming. We are also very excited about funding for a new grade school that could potentially be located in Doraville. We understand that the location for this school is still in the exploratory phase and many variables come into play when considering the final plan for this school. Our City manager will be reaching out to your staff to meet and discuss a possible location that we have identified in Doraville.
Thank you also for listening to me tirelessly advocate for a high school in Doraville. You and I both agree that the priority now is the overcrowding and physical condition of schools in Doraville. A high school is a priority but, I understand will have to come at a later date. We hope that we can continue to have conversations about ways that a high school could be funded.
Thank you again for your time, and please call me if you ever have a question about where the City of Doraville stands on these issues.
Donna Pittman