Cobb plans to rescue “Schools with hair on fire”

Dr. Michael Hinojosa

Dr. Michael Hinojosa

UPDATE: AJC reporter Ty Tagami will be following the story about schools (those “with hair on fire”) targeted by Cobb County for intervention due to their performance on things like discipline and testing. If you are a student or the parent of a student at one of the four schools, or if you are or were an employee at one of them, please contact Ty. He’s looking for quotable sources and also for people who want to talk about the situation without seeing their names in the paper (or online). Reach Ty at 404-526-7739 or e-mail him.

Back to the original blog:

I love the line that the new Cobb school chief used to describe the schools that he feels need immediate and intense attention: “Schools with hair on fire.”

After meeting today with the new DeKalb school chief, it seems to me there could be a lot of change ahead for metro systems. (We will have to see what changes the new Fulton superintendent has in mind for his district.)

Here is a brief excerpt of the new AJC story on Superintendent Michael Hinojosa’s Marshall Plan for Cobb:

The schools, according to a list obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution under the open records act Wednesday, are: Pebblebrook High, South Cobb High, Lindley Sixth Grade Academy and Powder Springs Elementary.

“This is not necessarily a punitive thing, but it is a serious thing,” Hinojosa said. “These schools popped up as the ones that need the most support.”

Pebblebrook is a magnet for performing arts. South Cobb, which just opened a new center that shelters freshmen from the rest of the students, is known for its famous alumni, such as former Gov. Roy Barnes. Lindley has undergone several attempts at improvement. A few years ago, the school was split off from a standard sixth through eighth grade school. Uniforms were introduced, and boys were split from girls. Powder Springs failed to meet federal testing benchmarks and tumbled onto the “needs improvement” list last year.

Teams will go into them to monitor teachers and student behavior, such as activity in the hallways. They’ll develop methods for improvement, Hinojosa said. One example, if students are tardy to class, the teams will develop systems to ensure they get through the halls and to their classrooms on time.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

111 comments Add your comment

another comment

October 26th, 2011
6:44 pm

Well the Fulton County Supt. surprised everyone and went into the best performing school Riverwood and found Financial Mismangement and fired the Principal and then the Athletic Director when parents followed up with tips. You have to give him big kudo’s on that one. They thought they were safe as a bug.

south cobb

October 26th, 2011
7:58 pm

Great. Our middle & high schools are both on the list. I read the other article on Cobb redistricting, and I have no options no matter what.

Cobb Teacher

October 26th, 2011
8:19 pm

What about Campbell? Drug dealing etc. in the bathrooms….serious problems with tracking students. Yes, it is an IB school, but it is blatantly obvious students are tracked. Nothing like a senior class where students can barely read. This school is going to come to a rude awakening or we will just be babysitters and hosts to a small group of elite children.

Former Pebblebrook Teacher

October 26th, 2011
9:59 pm

Not at all surprised to see Pebblebrook on this list. A very negative environment created by an incompetent administration which is why there is such a high turnover… teachers are clamoring to get out of there. The kids are the victims in all of this. The quality, experienced teachers are leaving because their lives are made miserable by an administrative team that, quite frankly, does not understand what makes a good school. Even all of the quality assistant administrators have left over the last 2-3 years.

cobb mom of 4

October 26th, 2011
10:09 pm

Time to leave South Cobb….Too bad because it is a good area for commuting, close to I20, 75 and 285. But the children have to come first and I don’t think this superintendent has a clue.

Cobb Math Teacher

October 26th, 2011
10:17 pm

How are you on the case of this superintendent for trying to find a way to fix the schools/administration there? He did not create the problem and his ideas may not fix it, but at least he is going to try. The problems at Pebblebrook and Lindley have been there for years and are deteriorating again. You can argue about why are Campbell and Osborne not on the list–but that is partially due to them being on step five of missing AYP already and because it does not change the issues happening in the two high schools named. If you think the superintendent is the problem, you should see what happens in the classrooms, hallways, and even staff meetings in these schools–it is pathetic and frightening.

EastCobbParent

October 26th, 2011
10:22 pm

None of my schools are on the list, but it doesn’t matter – private high school. All of the local public high schools have nearly 2,000 students. 16:1 student to teacher ratios. How can a child excel in such an environment? How does a child get noticed unless he/she is in the 10% who are troublemakers or the 10% who are already superstars? How can a teacher be expected to connect with his/her students when he/she has 50 minutes to reach 30+ students and at least one troublemaker in class? Nope. Sorry. You can have my taxes, but you cannot have my child.

Agreed

October 26th, 2011
10:36 pm

Amen, EastCobbParent!

cobb mom of 4

October 26th, 2011
10:47 pm

I have a child at Lindley 6, thank God he is in Target and on a separate wing. Have 2 at Harmony Leland, overcrowded and ridiculously delapidated playground. Had a child that graduated from Pebblebrook, bad then and worse now. I spend and have spent time at each school, room parent, volunteer in office, whatever I can do. I have seen what happens at the schools. Big bold moves are needed, not hall monitors and more studying of problems that have existed for years. And while there may be bad teachers, this is not a teacher problem. This is a student and parent problem.

Find alternatives to students that misbehave in class, immediately. Separate the students by ability, and since 99% are minority, there should be no issue of “incorrect” labeling due to race. Students that really need help, throw additional resources at them. Let the students that already know how to behave get a good education.

I stand by what I wrote previously, the Superintendent doesn’t have a clue.

cobb mom of 4

October 26th, 2011
10:50 pm

Find alternatives “for” students that misbehave in class…..get them out of the regular classroom.

another comment

October 26th, 2011
11:13 pm

Unfortunately affirmative action, leveling, and all of this other crap, has created a bunch of monsters in the schools. Nothing but school house thugs, who can’t read or write. We were laughing at the ignorant e-mails a couple of these ghetto mama’s wrote defending their daughter’s bad behavior. Threatening to sue if any retaliation is taken against their off spring. Calling everyone else names. They can’t manage to keep track of the lies in their e-mails. They are so ignorant, that they admit being out of the schools district in their e-mail. I don’t know a high school in the Atlanta close-in area that requires you to commute 20 miles on 285 to get to the school, but according to these line jumpers they must commute that far. How stupid they are. No wonders we have such problems in schools.

Yes, we should seperated students out by ability. Real ability tests, like the IOWA tests not made up tests like the CRCT’s. My kids that score in the 90% and above on the IOWA’s are so sick of having to help these underperforms with attitude. It is not fair to my kids or myself.

It all begins at home. First learn how to speak english correctly. Learn to say the word “do” correctly, learn to say “ask” correctly, it is not ax unless you are going to do a Lizzie Borden.

Fed Up!

October 26th, 2011
11:14 pm

Please don’t get me started on why these schools were singled out!!!! I am a PA parent at Pebblebrook and former South Cobb teacher. Let teachers have a say and support us when we make choices that are appropriate for OUR students. Teacher morale is horrible in BOTH places. Staff is clamoring to get out of the door at the bell. Most teachers do what it takes to survive every day…even if that makes watering down the content!!!
I am constantly reteaching my child…I need my child to be able to succeed when they attend college!! It is mandatory!
The superintendent needs to look at the parents, not just the teachers – we are not their parents and cannot be expected to teach them things they were never taught growing up (i.e., manners, respect, motivation, etc.)!!!!
I am tired of students that misbehave in class and cause a major distraction to other student’s learning!!???
What happened to administrators that walked into classes and pulled out disruptive students and handled them IMMEDIATELY!!!!
I am sorry Superintendent Hinojosa…”HAIR on FIRE” is far from appropriate – it should be “In desperate need of a makeover”…GET BUSY!!!!
My child and others deserve IT!

Ole Guy

October 26th, 2011
11:19 pm

It seems that we’re always “pounding the wood in hopes that the nail will, somehow, be effected”. This “hair on fire” thing reflects the mentality that, rather than come up with new solutions, we simply keep trying new versions of the tried and proven failures. Deploying “teams” into the schools simply sends out the undeniable message that…”You people can’t seem to do your jobs, so we’re gonna advise you”. The example of student tardiness reflects a perfect example. Several (what seems like) centuries ago, the issue of tardiness was handled, quite simply, by the teacher: Little Johnny misses roll call and wanders into class late, thus interupting “class flow”.Teacher to Little Johnny: “Get up here, you…hands on desk”. Teacher then “reminds” Little Johnny of the error in his ways and administers a few pops upon Little Johnny’s six with the “board of education”, that infamous paddle with the holes designed to generate a level of FEAR and APPREHENSION with the heart and soul of Little Johnny.

Now I know that public aversion to anything not in concert with the dictates of pc doctrine will simply not fly in this “enlightened” society. We cannot generate fear into the Little Johnnys of today’s youth, much less inflict anything suggesting “physical “owie” (Perhaps this is one reason why the youth of this current generation are so damn weak, mentaly, physically, and morally). However, the concept of CONSEQUENCE remains (or SHOULD remain) intact…SOME sort of MEANINGFUL consequence needs to be consistently employed. Otherwise, these “hair on fire”…teams will serve absolutely no purpose whatsoever, except to piss off the teacher corps who, apparently, cannot be trusted to handle the problems du jour without outside intervention.

New to South Cobb

October 26th, 2011
11:36 pm

I moved to the South Cobb area in the latter part of June and was ready to vacate the premises by the early part of July. I kept waiting for the school year to start and was hoping that my worst fears would not be confirmed, and they were. My children appear to be bright and talented in the school because the information that is being taught to them now, they learned in the previous school years. The things that I assumed were the norm, such as homework, mandatory AR points, teacher interaction, answered e-mails that are sent to teachers or even informative and RELEVANT school meetings seem to be a thing of the past. I give my children extra work when they come home from school just to keep them on the same level as other counties.
Someone above mentioned grammatical errors from parents in e-mails. What about the grammatical errors from the administrators and teachers that come home from the school administrators? The PTA is a joke, events are canceled or rescheduled last minute, leaders who promise to call or have you assist with meetings never return phone calls or e-mails. I can understand trying to improve a situation but with the current state of more than one of the public school systems in the Atlanta metro area someone has to start to protect the future of our country.

Muffican Jam

October 27th, 2011
1:24 am

Dispatching “teams” to see and investigate is a waste of time and tax payers money. Government schools still miss the point. All they have to do is look at the top performing schools and inevitably it’s in the higher income areas. Nothing ground breaking there I know, but, these areas have parents that VALUE education. They in turn have children that VALUE getting an education. Which leads us to teachers that VALUE working in that environment and thus give their best. Unfortunately not everyone has $10k a year to send Johnny to school.

Time4change

October 27th, 2011
6:37 am

Campbell needs to be on his list. It needs administrative attention to the administrators that are incompetent (7 out of 9, all new) with no help from the central office in spite of calls and letters. Please help! Someone, anyone!

Curious One

October 27th, 2011
7:55 am

The composition of the “teams” should really be interesting ! I would take the area superintendents and house them in the troubled schools – but there again none of the area superintendents were successful with inproving the academics of their former schools – just the opposite they lead downward academic student achievement ! So, why did the Cobb School District chase off the only principals that lead schools off of the needs improvement list ? Just plain stupid would be my suggestion as are so many of the Human Resource Decisions. When will the HR leaders be indicted for their unauthorized and illegal personal salary increases. The credentials of the principals at some the troubled schools are simply weak and somewhat questionable. The only solution is for the new supintendent to clean house at Glover Street and reshape his cabinet and leadership team.

Dr NO / Mr Sunshine

October 27th, 2011
8:28 am

“Teams will go into them to monitor teachers and student behavior, such as activity in the hallways. They’ll develop methods for improvement, Hinojosa said. One example, if students are tardy to class, the teams will develop systems to ensure they get through the halls and to their classrooms on time.”

Wow…Impressive!! And how much is Hinojosa being paid?

Dr NO / Mr Sunshine

October 27th, 2011
8:30 am

cobb mom of 4

October 26th, 2011
10:09 pm

Leave S Cobb? Absolutely. This infesting the “good apples” with the “bad apples” doesnt work as the bad apples are bad apples because they want to be.

Let the expulsions begin IN ERNEST!!

What's Really Going On

October 27th, 2011
8:56 am

To echo what “Muffican jam” said, there are plenty of parents who VALUE EDUCATION with children who VALUE EDUCATION in the S. Cobb area. Howeve,r most of them do not send their kids to their area schools– rather they chose other options like private and home schooling; and who can blame them? The CCSD needs to develop a game plan that begins in Kindergarten and extends up thru middle and high school that offers a viable, high quality, rigorous learning environment for these families and children. Anytime one of these parents visits a school and asks what the school has in place for high achievers, any teacher, or school leader in the building should be able to clearly articulate what they have in place. When i say “high achievers” I am not just talking about Target eligible kids. There are many kids who fall a little below target expectations who get thrust in with the masses and oftentimes that may mean they are subject to low expectations and little focus on what they need in order to insure they are truly learning at a high level.

Almost every parent that I know in S. Cobb who is actively involved and who expects their child to be taught at a high level is doing exactly what “New To South Cobb” poster says and that is to give them extra work when they come home in the evenings just to try to insure the kids are not falling behind their peers in other schools, counties, states, etc.. For these parents, they are practically homeschooling their children. This is unacceptable!

Everyone knows that the parents play a large role in impacting a school’s overall achievement levels. Therefore, If CCSD really wants to see the S. Cobb schools turnaround, it absolutely MUST figure out immediately some ways to attract the parents who value education into the schools, particularly those who are not enrolled in the schools in S. Cobb, and really find out why. If that is done, and an action plan devised to address perhaps the top ten or so issue that are raised, I am confident that we would see a change in these schools in very little time. Test score averages will creep up, incompetent teacher and administrators will get pushed out (as there will be more parents who are engaged who can help push that process along), and the overall spirit and morale of the school would probably increase as well.

I happen to have a child who is a high achiever and well behaved in class and one of the first things the teacher will say during conferences is how much of a joy it is to teach my child. I am not patting myself on the back– just making a point that many teachers raise all the time.. they need to just teach and not have to expend so much effort “raising” someone else’s child. Although we would all like all the parents to do their jobs with their kids, the reality is that that simply is not practical and will not happen nd for the most part is outside the scope of the CCSD to “fix”. However,CCSDt can go out of it’s way to create programs within schools that will attract more families who value education so that our good teachesr who are working very hard to educate the kids have just a few more kids in the room who help to remind them how much of a joy it can be to teach. Additionally, and most importatnly the district can get the poor administrators and teacher out of the schools. Teacher know who the slackers are in the building, create some process whereby we can get the slackers out and not just shuffle them around to different grade levels and roles in the school.

IIAM Parent

October 27th, 2011
9:08 am

To hear all of this a parent about the surrounding schools, yet, Cobb County School Board voted to close the one school that gave parents’ choices. We don’t have drugs in the bathrooms, we don’t have gangs; however, we do have teachers who give their best everyday to teach our kids at the highest level. To close a school where the parents and students have CHOSEN to attend is beyond me. It is unfair that now all of a sudden we are making a concerting effort to fix the Cobb County schools which seems to have more problems than Imagine Mableton. Cobb County School District is not financially sound, yet, that is one of the reasons for closing our school. We require mandatory volunteer hours, yet they say that are parents are not involved in our school. I am just a little confused. We are giving other schools an opportunity to succeed and improve but we are closing a school where at the time school started, 600+ students chose to come this year. As an IIAM parent I am highly disappointed, frustrated and confused.

jay

October 27th, 2011
9:35 am

@ ANOTHER COMMENT – I agree you (albeit I don’t care for the part demeaning the email’s author). Ignorance is simply “not knowing” and I won’t give them an out for simply not knowing. Many of the people you mention either don’t care to know or just don’t care. Pretty simple… it’s unfortunate. Regarding ITBS vs. CRCT, everyone knows (who cares to know) that millions of dollars are tied to the CRCT via NCLB. The state has just made a major move in asking the Fed for a waiver in complying with NCLB, in an effort to loosen the ties that bind. Good luck with that…

@NEW TO SOUTH COBB – Regret you feel like you made a bad move to SC; however, many people have made the same observation. The community could be a lot stronger when it comes to the issue of education.

COBB MOM OF 4 mentioned leaving SC – many have and more will. You’re really ready when you mention that one of the benefits to SC are the myriad routes that take you away from it. :)

What I’ve found is that many of the parents (friends of mine) who have moved to either Gwinnett, East Cobb or out of state. When I talk to them, we’ll at some point talk about schools and how much they’re involved, go to school board meetings, volunteer etc. I always tell them that they’d still be here in SC if they worked that hard when they lived here AND many of the issues residents still experience would be fewer.

It does start at home; however, it can finish there also. For as much as it is mentioned that the kids are not held to a higher set of expectations in school, we should hold the elected and appointed officials to a higher standard as well.

mystery poster

October 27th, 2011
9:42 am

Wasn’t it Michael Jackson with the hair on fire?

cobb now

October 27th, 2011
10:37 am

south cobb schools—one big ghetto, with bad management. But, the administrators are pulling in big salaries so they aren’t changing anything. Keep it on!!

another comment

October 27th, 2011
10:52 am

It all comes down to the lack of zoning, out of control development. The cheap apartments, lack of enforcement on landlords to keep up the stock of apartments. In the first place so much rental stock should have never been allowed to be built.

What is the big difference between the Walton District, they only have one or two apartment complexes in their entire school district.

Once again, these districts are two big, they can not react to the micro society of the area. To many competiting priorities on different area’s of the County. We must have school systems broken down by towns of smaller cities. School Districts should be no larger than 1 or 2 high schools.

Or you have to allow those who want to learn to go up to Walton.

Lee

October 27th, 2011
11:13 am

It’s not rocket science. If you’re looking to buy a house in a good school district, you pay attention to the demographics and avoid those with a high percentage of black/hispanic students.

Anyone surprised that the “troubled” schools referenced in this article are all 70% black/hispanic or higher? I guarantee you when Roy Barnes attended South Cobb, it was probably 90% white.

Of course, with the way administrators redistrict schools in a vain attempt to skew the numbers by moving racial groups around (remember when they moved white kids from Harrison to McEachern to prop up test scores?), private or homeschool is probably your best bet.

Anyway, good luck Hinojosa. Let us know how it works out for you….

Dr NO / Mr Sunshine

October 27th, 2011
11:17 am

“Wasn’t it Michael Jackson with the hair on fire?”

LMAO…him and Richard Pryor.

I think in this case though its Hinojosa brain that is over-heating.

Paulo977

October 27th, 2011
11:29 am

another
comment
“First learn how to speak english correctly” you mean English???

Wonder what the Brits would say about ours?

None

October 27th, 2011
11:43 am

Cobb needs to fess up to the fact that they have NO CLUE and NO DESIRE to effectively run these low performing schools. Title 1 or not CCSD has their head in the sand and wants to treat each school and it’s staff like they are all Pope High School. First of all the teachers and administrators work HARD! They deserve Hazard pay. Just like COA and Dekalb where teachers know that they are getting paid extra because they are dealing with a whole other animal. There is no reason why a teacher/administrator working in these schools should get paid the same as those in the West Cobb and East Cobb district. They have to deal with five times the discipline and have the same workload if not more. They are worked to the BONE, are under supported, and neglected by the county. CCSD needs to get a clue. It’s not 1975. The demographic has changed. They need to step up to the plate and run these schools correctly. There are plenty of things that they could do. First starting with proper security and protection of the property from trespassers. These teachers are breaking up fights, getting thrown against walls and punched in the face. It’s a disgrace. There are some parents that care and many that can’t take it anymore so they drive their kids to another school. The others are too young to even have children in high school and believe that their kids are always right. The past area superintendent was a complete IDIOT and needed to be replaced. He was incompetent and a waste of time.

Grob Hahn

October 27th, 2011
12:01 pm

They put the IB program into some of the worst schools in an effort to level out the grade disparity. If the IB programs were put into the best schools, which would make logical sense, those schools would soar. Instead the IB program is being used to mask the obvious problems.
Grobbbbbbbbbbb

SC Student

October 27th, 2011
1:13 pm

I am absolutely appalled by these comments. South Cobb is the only public school in the county that had TWO Bill Gates Millenium Scholars last year. By the way, both of these students were minorities. More than precious little Harrison. Schools like South Cobb and Pebblebrook have one glaring problem: Keeping students who don’t want to be here enrolled. All those students do is take up space and cause problems for students, like myself, who WANT to learn. These students are like weeds. Take the weeds out and the garden will flourish.

To the many comments about minorities and disadvantaged people being the problem: You sound extremely ignorant.

Teacher

October 27th, 2011
1:20 pm

It’s About TIME! As a former teacher at Powder Springs, all I can say is Thank goodness the county is finally stepping in and helping that school. The teachers there have been constantly telling the county about the problems there and that the administration was running it into the ground, yet nothing was ever done about it. The principal was quick to blame others for the problems there and not herself. Most people were scared to speak out against the administration for fear of retribution from the principal. Those kids deserve to have an administration that cares about them. It was the most negative work environment that I have ever worked at. I hope they fire/demote her and turn that school around.

Lee

October 27th, 2011
1:28 pm

@SC Student: ” South Cobb is the only public school in the county that had TWO Bill Gates Millenium Scholars last year. By the way, both of these students were minorities…”

Yes, they were both minorities because that is one of the requirements:

“The goal of GMS is to promote academic excellence and to provide an opportunity for outstanding minority students with significant financial need…”

To another comment from Good Mother

October 27th, 2011
1:47 pm

“School Districts should be no larger than 1 or 2 high schools,” you said.

Bravo.

With smaller school districts there is a smaller pot of money and less temptation for big greedy administrators to come down and rob the pot. It’s also impossible to hide behind the “I didn’t know” excuse because the district is small enough for every administrator to know very well.

williebkind

October 27th, 2011
1:48 pm

Just another affirmative action blunder made to appease the minority and now destroying our schools. Get rid of the federal government interference in schools and let the states take care of their own.

williebkind

October 27th, 2011
1:50 pm

Bill Gates Millenium Scholars! Hahahaha! Another affirmative action program! Were these two the two best or the two best of the minorities.

Proud Teacher-Mom

October 27th, 2011
2:26 pm

Three cheers for South Cobb HS. A school that is setting the students up to succeed. Every school has their issues, some just hide it better than others. This is not a spot on the South Cobb teachers, students or administration. This is an opportunity to exercise a new resource to aid in the success of South Cobb students. Nobody is perfect. No school is perfect. Remove the plank from your own eye before attempting to fix the eyes of those around you. The South Cobb community is a great place to learn, live and share positive laughter. Thank you to all the hardworking volunteers, administration, faculty and staff at these so-called schools with “hair on fire”. Spread posivity, not negativity. It helps to make our community better.

Red Herring

October 27th, 2011
2:36 pm

reduce administration and put those funds back into the classrooms, get rid of under performing teachers, hire more teachers that can perform, allow them to perform, when they request undisciplined children be removed from the classroom then require the prinicpals to remove them and to inform the parents it is being done and why, offer the parents the opportunity to straighten the child out in order for that child to return to normal classes, should the parent succeed then allow the child back in, should the parent fail then allow the child to remain in remedial classes. it is unfortunate indeed that some parents are having children simply as a means to increase their income and many of these parents don’t see fit to supervise, discipline, and require their children to behave and seek free educations. these kids learn a lot from watching mom and many will live there lives in a similar manner. by the way many of these moms are white as well. it’s not difficult to see why it works like this– when i “government” put out corn “free money/education/etc” for my deer and turkey then as long as i continue to increase the amount of corn i put out the more deer and turkey will come for the free corn—when i cut back on the free corn fewer deer and turkey come for it as they have to learn to rely on their own foraging skills to improve their own lives. just a thought.

Dr NO / Mr Sunshine

October 27th, 2011
3:10 pm

Lee

October 27th, 2011
1:28 pm

TOUCHE’

Joe

October 27th, 2011
3:15 pm

You people have no clue what, we teachers have to deal with on the southside.

Beverly Fraud

October 27th, 2011
3:20 pm

But will they rigorize the rigor in a rigorous way, in order to reinvigorate the revisions of the remapping of the rigorously revised rigor?

That’s essential, as of course the research tells us.

MiltonMan

October 27th, 2011
3:39 pm

In its day, South Cobb & its schools were very good. Today the area is garbage. Campbell & Osbourne both need to be on the list as does Brown Elementary.

The good schools in Cobb are found in the west & north; best schools are in east cobb. However, in another 20-30 years those schools will be garbage.

another comment

October 27th, 2011
4:23 pm

The so called reform principal that was put at South Cobb several years ago and is now married to a Radio DJ. Merely, hired teachers who gave out A’s to raised the test scores of the South Cobb thugs. Then when he came to Campbell he took away all of the spirit! Tired to fire the great teachers that the kids loved at Campbell. Ran off the IB head. All to bring in his lackkey’s from South Cobb.

My daughter got one of those South Cobb favorites in Math. She gave no homework, no quizes, no tests in two weeks of Math, last year. Luckily my daughter got leveled out, and I requested the teacher she had Freshman year who the former South Cobb Principal tried to fire in the Rift. Luckily she got this teacher who was demanding of students that parents loved. Now as a Junior in another school District she has a solid A, and knows more Math than any other student. If she would have stayed with the former South Cobb teacher she would have been doomed.

another comment

October 27th, 2011
4:26 pm

Let’s not forget that Cobb closed Oakwood, the Alternative school last year and made it an outsourced on-line school last year. So there is no place to send these trouble makers anymore.

Maybe we need to send them to Walton and Pope, that would wake up some in the district to see how bad the Gangs and Ghetto really is in parts of Cobb County. They might get of their Republican mantra of cutting taxes, cutting taxes. As long as it is not in my back yard it doesn’t matter.

Concerned Resident

October 27th, 2011
4:46 pm

Not a pretty picture… Report card data for

Pebblebrook – http://www.gadoe.org/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=102&SchoolId=20613&T=1&FY=2010

South Cobb – http://www.gadoe.org/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=102&SchoolId=20603&T=1&FY=2010

Lindley Sixth Grade – http://www.gadoe.org/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=102&SchoolId=20558&T=1&FY=2010

Is it fair to say that the teacher of any subject where more than 50% of eoct test takers “did not meet” expectations should be on the chopping block?

Mufiican Jam

October 27th, 2011
5:20 pm

If the school board is serious, they will have to take an all-out approach and run the schools military style from the pre-K schools that feed into those schools. Some of you use the word “ghetto” to implicate black people. This is not a color issue. There are plenty of high achieving black students, they simply get drownded out by the underachieving students both BLACK and WHITE and HISPANIC. This is a VALUES issue. Many kids in the areas you are talking about are single mom run households or English is a second language household or any number of situations. You have every child capable of doing great things but the environment and VALUES structures that many of us take for granted are not in place. There are many other areas around the country that have worse areas and the government schools have been turned around BUT it took a herculean effort. The question is does the the current school board as we know it have the ” ” to do what is needed and turn things around. The other point is ,we have to stop crapping on the kids that are in these schools. I am sure many would enjoy going to some other high school but it’s out of their control at this point. If you live in Cobb you should want ALL the schools to do well as it reflects on the community at-large. CCSB the eyes of the county and state are upon you. Personally, I don’t have a lot of confidence in your ability to get the job done. Too many of you have your own agenda’s vs. doing what’s right by the teachers and students. I have a feeling you’ll drop this like you have dropped the ball on other issues in the past (caving on Hillgrove redistricting, changing the calendar 50 x’s, etc). All I can say is God bless the kids in those schools.

mystery poster

October 27th, 2011
5:39 pm

@Concerned Parent
Is it fair to say that the teacher of any subject where more than 50% of eoct test takers “did not meet” expectations should be on the chopping block?

I might agree with you, provided ALL of my students came to me ON grade level, with supplies and good attitudes, and well rested and fed.

jackie

October 27th, 2011
5:39 pm

The real solution would be to make sure that no high school has more than 800 to1,000 students,then expell the trouble makers. They don’t want to be there so they shouldn’t be there. The problem is that there wouldn’t be any high powered athletic programs and ridiculous 250 member marching bands which the powers that be and quite a few of the parents wouldn’t stand for. It would be much easier to handle 800 students and the reduced discipline problems and it could be done but the community would have to give up all the extra curricular fluff in order to educate their children. If the parents want sports and bands they should “pay to play” and I’m sorry if some would get left out but volleyball and chorus aren’t going to lead to careers for more than a tiny fraction of 1% of the students. The money spent on spiffy extras would go a long way towards buying school supplies that would actually be helpful in educating young people instead of being spent on buses to haul the football team from Cobb county to Savannah for a game. Education should be the priority not field hockey, gymnastics, and flag corps. I realize that kids enjoy all the sports, bands, and trips but those won’t get them a job when they graduate but algebra, English, and a plumbing class in vocational shop just might. It sure would be good to see the vocational classes make a come back but far too many school systems have done away with them and tried to force the square pegs into round holes and send everyone to college. We will always need plumbers, electricians, and carpenters but there is no great demand for drum majors and cheerleaders after high school. Go back to small schools, small classes, and increased discipline and accountablity. If a student really wants to learn pottery they should go to a class after school but the school system shouldn’t be paying for kilns, clay and paint in order to crank out misshapen ashtrays and easy “A’s”. When high schools get so big that they have five or six assistant principals, 3500 students and no one has any idea what is going on at the campus that should be all the warning that anyone needs. Kids will try to get away with as much as possible because they aren’t stupid and know that the chances of being caught breaking the rules are slim to none. Don’t whine when your kid “graduates” from MegaMonster High School as a semi literate, just be proud if he/she made all state. Maybe one of the big colleges will offer a scholarship(?).

Maureen Downey

October 27th, 2011
6:11 pm

To all:
Our reporter Ty Tagami will be following the story about schools (those “with hair on fire”) targeted by Cobb County for intervention due to their performance on things like discipline and testing. If you are a student or the parent of a student at one of the four schools, or if you are or were an employee at one of them, please contact Ty. He’s looking for quotable sources and also for people who want to talk about the situation without seeing their names in the paper (or online). Reach Ty at 404-526-7739 or ttagami@ajc.com.

Mufiican Jam

October 27th, 2011
6:34 pm

@Jackie…LMBO “misshapened ashtrays.” You make some great points about school and class size. That’s where private schools have a decided advantage. People always ask, “why does it cost so much to go to private school?” The answer is, they only want the serious people that VALUE an education. Don’t it it twisted, many provate schools have issues, drugs, pre-marital sex, behavioral issues etc. but by in large smaller is better. And to answer your “rhetorical” question they will not do away with the MegaMonster high schools with the football teams and huge bands. That feeds the next beast in the educational food chain and that’s colleges and universities. These colleges need as many academically challenged, semi-literate, as you call them, kids to put in the athletic “pipeline” to keep the donations coming from alumni and subway alums alike. When their playing days are done and no more money can be made off the kid the beast simply spits them out and looks to devour another unsuspecting semi-literate kid. It’s all a vicious circle.