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Archive for the 'DeKalb County School District' Category

Moving To NancyJester.com

Hey Nancy,

Did you move your blog?

What’s up with that?
 

I have moved this blog to NancyJester.com You may go there and sign up for notifications and read up on the latest in education in Georgia and around the Country.

–Nancy

posted by WUWT Moderator in DeKalb County School District and have Comments Off

DeKalb Accreditation

I am pleased to hear the DeKalb school system’s accreditation status has been upgraded from “probation” to “warned”.  I worked diligently to shine light on the poor fiscal management of DeKalb.  Some of my work was even cited in the SACS report from 2012.   Clearly DeKalb still has a long way to go.  Academic achievement and growth in many schools is unacceptable.  DeKalb’s graduation rate, at 58.9%, is far too low.  Of the 25 high schools in DeKalb, 8 have graduation rates below 50%, while only 4 have rates above 75%.  All four of these schools are specialty or magnet schools. 

I appreciate that SACS finally recognized that DeKalb needed some sort of intervention.  The entire episode exposes the structural weaknesses in our state’s accountability model.  While SACS can provide a useful and supplemental service via their third party accreditation products, Georgia must not continue to abdicate it’s role in holding districts accountable for their results and financial management.  AdvancED/SACS has 5 standards for school district accreditation.  While these standards are meant to drive improvement in various processes for a school district, not one standard measures outcomes for children. There is no minimum graduation rate or achievement level necessary to earn accreditation. 

In many states, the accreditation status of schools is determined by their Department of Education or comparable public agency.  Texas and Virginia both accredit their schools based on defined, measurable performance results.  Their graduation rates are 87% and 89% respectively.  These states are rewarding success with autonomy and no longer accept failure without consequences.  Additionally, Texas has a Financial Integrity system that has 20 indicators that measure the financial health of a district and push money to be spent in the classroom.   

From the Texas Education Agency’s website:

“The purpose of the financial accountability rating system is to ensure that school districts and open-enrollment charter schools are held accountable for the quality of their financial management practices and achieve improved performance in the management of their financial resources.  The system is designed to encourage Texas public schools to manage their financial resources better in order to provide the maximum allocation possible for direct instructional purposes.”

Georgia has 0 financial integrity measurements for our school districts.

If Georgia had a system for financial integrity, like Texas, DeKalb county could not have engaged in the deceptive budgeting practices I uncovered.  School districts would be forced to allocate money to instruction and not a bloated bureaucracy.  If Georgia’s Department of Education had an accreditation system like that of Texas or Virginia, our schools would be rated and accredited based on measurable performance outcomes. 

I am running to be the State School Superintendent to bring these types of structural reforms to our state.

posted by Nancy Jester in AdvancED SACS,DeKalb County School District,Georgia Education,Georgia State School Superintendent Race,Nancy Jester and have Comments Off

Education Spending and Results in Georgia

On the campaign trail recently I’ve been talking about how much Georgia spends on education and how that relates to outcomes for our children.

I put together a spreadsheet for you so you can see Georgia’s spending on education from Fiscal Years 2005 through the current Fiscal Year 2014. I have graphed Georgia’s education spending, the federal money Georgia spends on education and the total budget for our state. Here’s that graph:

GeorgiaTotalBudget

Notice anything?

Georgia’s total budget took quite a hit from 2008 to 2010 (the top yellow line). Georgia’s state funding for education dipped during that same time frame (the blue line) but took nowhere near the hit that the entire state was forced to endure. Additionally, the federal government stepped in and made up for most of the decline with stimulus funds. The grey line shows total state and federal education spending.

What’s the real story behind Georgia’s education system and funding? Every state that borders Georgia spends less per pupil and has a higher graduation rate. For the record, since 2012 (for the 2010-11 school year) the graduation rate is calculated the same in every state. See my chart below for the data – border states are highlighted in peach and other notable states are highlighted in blue. It’s worth noting our two lowest spending border states have the highest graduation rates – Tennessee and North Carolina.
GradRatesPerPupilSpendingMap
GraduationRates
Sources and Citations

posted by Nancy Jester in DeKalb County School District,Finance,Georgia Education and have Comments (2)

Healthy Start Weekend October 19-20

Organizers of two significant, family-friendly community events invite the Dunwoody community to come together for a “Healthy Start Weekend” October 19-20.  First up is Dunwoody Elementary School’s October 19 Tour de Dunwoody – Family Bike Event followed on October 20 by the Rotary Club of Dunwoody’s  RunDunwoody – 5K/1 Mile Fun Run/Tot Trot.

The fun begins Saturday, October 19 with three ride options featured in the 3rd annual Tour de Dunwoody.  Registration and check-in begins at 7:30 a.m. and the main ride begins at 8:30 am sharp in the parking lot of Dunwoody Elementary School. The main “Tiger” route is a 3-Mile, police escorted ride starting and ending at DES and riding through Dunwoody with your family.  There will also be two shorter, on-campus “Cub” routes for new or younger riders beginning at 8:45 a.m.

Connecting families, DES and the community, this unique family biking event features fun and challenge for biking enthusiasts of all levels while offering reminders about bike safety and awareness.  Register today for this family bike event at www.dunwoodypto.com.  Please contact Katie Scharf at klewis00@yahoo.com for more information or to inquire about event sponsorship.  Proceeds benefit Dunwoody Elementary’s Tiger Fund.

On Sunday, October 20, the Rotary Club of Dunwoody presents the 4th annual RunDunwoody – 5K/1 Mile Fun Run/Tot Trot.  Registration and runner check-in begins at 7:00am in the Target parking lot at 100 Perimeter Center Place, Atlanta, GA 30346.  The 5K is certified as a Peachtree Road Race Qualifier and follows a fast and scenic route, spanning the Perimeter Flyover Bridge with spectacular view of Perimeter Summit.  The 1 Mile Fun Walk/Run offers fun for all ages with prizes for the top male and female age 12 and under. Young children (ages 2 – 5) are invited to participate in the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Tot Trot.

As a special treat kids of all ages will enjoy the opportunity to visit with our members of the Dunwoody police force and firefighters and explore equipment and vehicles on display.  To register and for information about a fun-filled morning – live music, prizes, awards, great food, Kid’s Zone activities and more – for a good cause go to www.rundunwoody.net or contact Kathy Brandt or Kelly Hundley at info@rundunwoody.net.  Proceeds benefit the service focus of the Rotary Club of Dunwoody – education, public health, public safety, locally and globally.

Make a Healthy Start with your family and friends this fall.  Whether you enjoy biking or running, plan to participate in Dunwoody’s first Healthy Start Weekend, October 19-20, 2013.

posted by Nancy Jester in DeKalb County School District and have Comments Off

09/09/2013 Realtime Blog DeKalb Schools Board Meeting

DeKalb County School District
Board Meeting
2pm – Work Session (Agenda)
5:45pm – Public Comments
7pm – Business Meeting (Agenda)

posted by Nancy Jester in DeKalb County School District and have Comments Off