The bottom line is that from a personal perspective -- as a parent of a current Oakcliff student, member of the Oakcliff PTA, and friend to many other Oakcliff parents and students -- I don’t want to see any changes to Oakcliff. Dr. Paschall and her staff and teachers do an excellent job, and the school district should do everything they can to retain, empower, and promote them. But if Oakcliff enrollment is projected to decline significantly, evaluating the options becomes much harder given the big-picture goal of reducing overcrowding for as many students as possible.
DeKalb Schools has announced the redistricting public meetings for the following elementary schools: Austin, Doraville United (fka Cross Keys North), and Pleasantdale. With the Austin redistricting likely to receive a lot of attention from Dunwoody residents, I plan to focus... Continue Reading →
I spend inordinate amounts of time thinking about DeKalb Schools and one of the questions I have continued to be plagued by is this: Why are the facilities in DeKalb in a state of such disrepair, especially compared to other Metro Atlanta school districts? I began to look at the traditional arguments: “Other districts have more money to invest in their schools,” “That district’s buildings are newer,” “Those districts have wealthier students,” or “Those districts spend more money per student.” I’m not entirely convinced that those answers explain why DeKalb’s buildings suffer more than other districts.
Obviously, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I really tried to work with the school administration to help address truly important issues that seemed essential to retaining teachers and helping holistically increase student achievement. However, that style of proactive problem-solving was great for getting some things done. It was not, on the other hand, effective at building strong relationships between me and my administration.
Before deciding to knock down your students’ homes after promising those same students and their families new facilities to address long-term neglect of the Cross Keys Cluster, I think DCSD should have involved the public in the process, exhaustively explored other options and been able to provide clear, written and thorough explanations as to why alternative properties were not feasible.
I’m really trying to be collaborative. I’m trying to understand the logic that leaders in DeKalb are using. But today, I’m having an extremely difficult time reconciling that objective with the latest news that DeKalb County School District is going... Continue Reading →
All the while, our students are still trying to be teenagers. Almost 70% of our students at Cross Keys are U.S. citizens, so even if there are some who try to explain away students’ pain by saying that they are “illegal,” they can’t say that. These are legal residents – U.S. citizens – whose parents are being taken away from them. For people who value family as the fundamental building block of society, how can we support these types of initiatives?
In the letter, Mayor Pittman encourages the DeKalb Board of Education to vote tomorrow night. The letter also clarifies her position on a Doraville HS and the new Doraville-area elementary school.
All this talk about new high schools and redistricting has gotten me thinking: Are we even ready to do this? Because I have a feeling that we are not. Cross Keys High School students were redistricted to Chamblee Charter High... Continue Reading →