Folks, I hope everyone has a good holiday. The debate over the fate of Dr. Smith and Deerwood Academy has been lively, to say the least.
I have to agree with some posters here that no leader is ever beloved by every employee. I do not find it strange that Dr. Smith has both detractors and admirers. That is to be expected in any school attempting new programs and ideas.
The only point that I want to address in Michael Smith’s letter is the notion that the AJC went after certain schools in its series of CRCT scores that didn’t add up.
Our investigative team produced its list of schools with improbable swings in CRCT scores based solely on data from the state. There were schools throughout Georgia on the list. However, APS had the greatest number of schools. The Atlanta schools get most of the attention here because most of us on this blog live in metro Atlanta.
At this point, I think we need to await the findings of the outside experts hired by Dr. Hall to review APS scores. (I know that some of you are doubtful, but I am impressed with the two experts and don’t believe they have been co-opted by APS.) There is more to come from the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement as well. I understand that some of you are also skeptical of that agency, but nothing I have seen indicates to me that the office has a hit list of schools. Again, I think that GOSA is only going where the data gaps lead it.
Rest over the holidays and let’s come back refreshed for the Legislature. I don’t expect too much meddling in schools this session as money is tight. But I think there will be the usual assortment of well-intended bills, most of which will not pass because they add stress to already over burdened school systems.
In the meantime, enjoy family, friends and time off, if you are lucky enough to have some. I will be back at my desk Monday morning after taking my teenager to get his wisdom teeth out. I will check the blog for spam over the weekend. (I just freed about 50 people.)