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 →
Charter schools cannot be viewed as the ultimate solution to problems with the local schools. Now, before you think that this is just another charter-school bashing article, I want to say that I serve on the board of PATH Academy (a DeKalb charter school with a lottery and a separate governing board) and I send my daughter to a DeKalb theme school (a public school with a lottery yet without a separate governing board).
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.
The new communities that will be forged and the new friendships and support systems that will arise are worth these growing pains towards a more just and equitable education system for DeKalb County Schools. It will have its challenges.
Please, DeKalb Schools, don’t tear down more affordable apartments in our community. A couple weeks ago, our Cross Keys community was excited to find out that we are moving closer to getting a long overdue new school building. However, my... Continue Reading →
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.
The Shallowford Gardens property looks like it’s going to become an elementary school. There isn’t much that we can do about that at this point. In the future, however, I would love to see a revised site selection process that includes community input and a thorough site analysis and final report. This would go a long way toward improving and sustaining a healthy relationship between the school district and its families.
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.