More details on military high school

Today’s Q&A reveals some more information about a controversial plan for DeKalb schools to open a new school in August run jointly with the U.S. Marines.

Some say the school’s campus is too small, while others oppose the military’s involvement and fear students will be heavily recruited.

William McHenry, national director for the Marine Corps’ Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps said there’s no military commitment for students who attend the free magnet school.

The program will allow students to take 15 college credit hours during their senior year of high school, he said.

We’ve blogged about this school before, but what do you think of the program now that we have more information?

Following yesterday’s post, would this be considered an innovative school?

24 comments Add your comment


April 3rd, 2009
11:21 am

Hopefully this clarifies the mission for this particular school. There are still legitimate concerns regarding the site for this school however I understand there are active discussions going on about alternate locations. Now we can focus attention on providing students additional opportunities and choices with respect to their education.


April 3rd, 2009
12:02 pm

Bwahaha — when I looked at the story just now, all the questions were there, but the answers were blank!!

I still think it’s a great idea and a viable alternative for those families who want that measure of discipline. It’s not particularly “innovative”, though, since they’ve been doing it at West Point, the Citadel, Annapolis, etc. for a long, long time :-) Plus, there are dozens and dozens of private military-style prep schools all around — it used to be that “military school” is where the slackers got sent off to to help straighten ‘em out.

jim d

April 3rd, 2009
12:15 pm

I still like it lots. But as for being innovative? naw, just different. It will still be government operated.


April 3rd, 2009
12:42 pm

“DeKalb’s military high school ‘provides a niche’”

A niche? Why provide a niche? Why would DeKalb’s school board and superintendent even want to break up the system in this way? Why would they want to break up the system at all? Why won’t they do their job and take on the hard work to learn to improve the whole DeKalb County Public Schools system? Are they that lazy?

Want to see a system that’s been broken into a collection of niches? Then look next door to Atlanta Public Schools. Big schools, small schools, magent schools, single-sex schools, charter schools, KIPP schools, alternative schools…excuse me, acadamies. Predictable result? Student learning on a continual decline starting from first grade.

Why does this silly mess continue to spread? Why are certain adults so inclinded to keep faulting and fingering children, through teachers and parents, instead of their own leadership and management practices that are much the same kind of practices that spawned the economic crisis?

Why, especially, aren’t African-American educators innovating to learn to curtail this moral destructiveness of many of their own children instead of facilitating it?

And please, cease with the lame “there’s no military commitment for students” argument.

Dr. Slyvia D. Winestead

April 3rd, 2009
3:03 pm

The problem: The administrators — no matter how the schools are set up — are afraid to discipline the students these days. That’s why I am a member of MACE.


April 3rd, 2009
3:37 pm

“Why won’t they do their job and take on the hard work to learn to improve the whole DeKalb County Public Schools system? Are they that lazy?”

Um, yes. Incompetent and corrupt are other words that come to mind.

The whole point of this school, from the DCSS HQ viewpoint, is to get money and to have someone else do the work DCSS is supposed to do. It’s certainly not to help kids in any way.

And let’s be honest, this isn’t about helping problem kids for the Marines either (look at the entrance requirements for the school–how many problem kids are proficient in algebra in 9th grade?). There may be no direct service commitment, but this is 100% PR. Now the fact that the Marines have millions of dollars of PR money to spend on something taxpayers already pay DCSS to do . . .

high school teacher

April 3rd, 2009
4:46 pm

Why, jim d, are you implying that government run schools cannot be innovative? ;)

jim d

April 3rd, 2009
5:00 pm

Nope not implying anything–just stating an opinion

Farmer Phil (F 250) Nix

April 3rd, 2009
9:17 pm

Where did DB and High School Teacher get dem yeller faces? I’m jealous and want to know. I always said that if the teachers and the administrators could and would treat recalcitrant youngins’ like the military treats them as soon as they sign’em up, then we wouldn’t have a bit of trouble in the schools. But, now (I am told by my daughter who teachers in Cherokee County) if the teachers raise their voices only slightly (much less in any way scolds the little feller) or dares even touch the feller’s bicep or shoulder to re-direct him or her, then the teacher is in a heap of trouble and more than likely is about to join me in the Peach Orchard. It’s a messed up way of thinking, if you ask me. I am about to run for school board down here in Lamar County. I think that I’m about to call John Trotter to see if he can put me a campaign together. That’ll be a good one! Heedabeeda Hoo Hoo! This is your buddy, Phil, speaking his mind.

Farmer Phil (F 250) Nix

April 3rd, 2009
9:19 pm

Excuse me. I had the wrong email address. I don’t know hi-n-de-h_ll I got Bishop Earnest T. Bass’s email address! The micro chips must have gotten all crossed up.

Farmer Phil T (F 250) Nix

April 4th, 2009
12:28 am

Ta bom. Eu falo portugues muito bem. E voce? Escola de militar e bom!

Reality 2

April 4th, 2009
9:31 am

I have a question about those 15 college credit courses. Will they be paid through HOPE? Or is this somehow separate from HOPE? If it is, where is the money coming from? That will definitely be an advantage that is not available to other students – AP requires students to take/pass tests while Joint Enrollment will use up some of the credit hours being paid through HOPE.

Gwinnett Parent

April 4th, 2009
9:56 am

Parents will not be forced to enroll their children at this school and it is partially funded by the Marines. All those who oppose just need to place their lovely offspring elsewhere. During this time of budget cuts and a thirst for discipline, a military style public school is perfect. My husband is a Marine Corps veteran and is thankful for his military background. Without the Marines my hubby would be working a minimum wage job with just a high school diploma. He is a GSU graduate with a 3.89 GPA in Business, has a great job, and is highly employable. There are a lot of intangible things the students can not get in a traditional classroom setting. The students will learn discipline, respect, time management, how to deal with others, and communication skills. They will also be forced to “learn on their feet” and problem solve. If a student transfers out of the program after a few years, there will be a teacher somewhere that is thankful for this program.


April 4th, 2009
3:46 pm

Where is the money for 15 hour college credits coming from? Will it be from students’ HOPE money? If so, given not all HS students are going on to colleges, and I’m sure not all of students attending this Military HS will go on to colleges, these students will use up some of the resources otherwise untouched by those students.

If the money is not coming from HOPE, where is it coming from? From the Marines? It will definitely be a benefit not available to other DeKalb HS students.

Pastor Pee Wee Mathers

April 4th, 2009
11:10 pm

Pres. Obama will be naming former Governor Roy Barnnes to Co-Chair (or some similar title) a new commission on public education. Teachers, beware of this! I heard Rev. Jimmy Jack Bourbon telling someone of this up-and-coming event. Rev. B. usually has his info together.

Reality 2

April 5th, 2009
10:06 am

I just want to know where the money for the 15 college credit hours are coming from…

Teachers are watching...

April 5th, 2009
1:53 pm

Pee Wee, You’re right. Roy Barnes established himself as the true enemy of teachers back in 2000 when he did away with due process for tenured teachers. The teachers did away with his second term as governor. It was the MACE teachers union that went after him like a scaulded dog! MACE picketed him and his sycophant legislators for days, spoke out against “Redneck Roy,” and wrote articles against him. His actions were a threat to teachers and would have been a horrible disaster for public education had they been allowed to stay in place. Already you have students defying the teachers at will, and the administrators are afraid of the disruptive students and their irate parents. A military academy? Yep, if it is run correctly, but it probably won’t be. The administrators need to grow some backbones.


April 5th, 2009
4:04 pm

Let’s see, West Point Military Acadamy was established around 1802 and used (and still uses) the same military style methods that had been developed over a period of centuries in Europe and other countries around the globe.

So, is Dekalb’s military acadamy “innovative?” No, it sounds like a return to a tried and true method.

Politically correct “innovation” is what got us in this mess.


April 6th, 2009
11:23 pm

I think they are going to need a good place for this school. The student have to be able to play team sports in order to get into West Point or the other acadamies. Be kind of cool to see the Marines as the state football champs. Not to mention, college prep’d grad’s. And besides anythings better than Cross Keys H.S.


April 16th, 2009
6:07 pm

This school is yet another attempt by DeKalb officials to stem the tide of under- and mis-educated high school students being churned out by the system. So far they have the Open Campus model (770 students), the Alternative School model (150-500), the Gateway to College model (? enrollment not listed), the Destiny Academy (100), the DeKalb Early College Academy (400), the DeKalb Truancy School in conjunction with Juvenile Court (50), DeKalb Night School (60-200), DeKalb Alternative Night School (65), Father Flanagan Girls and Boys Town (26), DeKalb Online Academy, DeKalb Mentoring Programs, Student Support Services
Prevention/Intervention Department, Joint Enrollment with local colleges and a whole plethora of magnet, choice and specialty schools. Dr. Lewis proudly proclaimed that at 63 choice programs, DeKalb leads the state and perhaps the nation in opportunities for types of educational environments.

Well – now this will make 64 I guess…

In Reality

April 16th, 2009
8:28 pm

The bottom line is that the vast majority of student issues could be solved with 1) interesting classes, 2) dedicated and competent teachers, and 3) a six-period day, which is actually closer to a college schedule. Instead they make it dreary, grueling, and unrelated to anything these kids need or want. So when they fail or act out, it requires a new, “innovative” program. If they made the more systemic (thus more difficult) changes, then they could deal with the kids who are really at the margins.

In Reality

April 16th, 2009
8:37 pm

By the way, Reality 2, they already have programs in place that give HS students credit, but does not effect their HOPE hours. The MC Academy may be something like that. But you are right, there are a lot of detail$ that need worked out. Transportation, for example. Dr. Lewis mentioned that they may send buses to take students from Heritage to Adams Stadium for PE and drills. This, of course, after he just cut bus transportation to a hub system for the magnet schools and cut buses for field trips. Not much actual monetary planning has occurred. In fact, Lewis confirmed that no market survey was conducted to evaluate actual interest in the program.

In Reality

April 16th, 2009
8:55 pm

One more thing. Dr. Lewis stated several times that the Marine Corps Academy will only be available to Title 1 students with no behavior issues and who have passed Math 1 (AKA Algebra 1) in 8th grade (accelerated HS math program). So, hopefully all 12 of the students with these credentials will apply.

Annette Jackson

April 23rd, 2009
12:24 am

Wow! First of all, not in any way, to give way that respect isn’t in honor to the Board or Education or Dr. Crawford Lewis, however, What is really going on?

I’m not sure if you, the Board and Dr. Lewis are really aware, but there are so many holes in the infomation that you are disclosing to the parents, community, citizens, taxpayers, and stakeholders alike, that we really are worried if you think that the majority of us are buying into these ways of school choice through lack of planning, and jeopardizing children every step of the way.

I’m like Bill Cosby now, Come On People,in his book. You mean to tell me that your sidebar meetings behind closed doors without involving “We The People” is a good plan. In ending,I’ll just say, the United States of America runs as a republic which gives power to the people, and it seems as though, you the politicians, and not the statesman, are selling our kids down the river through autonomy and flawed policy. What would Jesus say about all this or perhaps even Thurgood Marshall?