Sunday, September 7, 2014

Update(ish) on Druid Hills Charter Cluster

The conversation continues regarding the Druid Hills Charter Cluster (DHCC) petition, although it appears to have become very one-sided in recent weeks. DHCC advocates have been pushing the district and school board over the last several months to put the revised petition onto the school board agenda for another vote. And information from the DeKalb County School District's (DCSD) perspective? Cue the crickets chirping.

Representatives from both DHCC and DCSD were invited to speak at the September meeting of the Emory LaVista Parent Council meeting. David Moore, legal counsel for DHCC, presented a lengthy history of the charter petition from origination (out of concern regarding disparities in learning achievement between the five feeder elementary schools) to today (a revised petition has been sitting at the county offices since May 1, 2014; any actions taken by DCSD are largely unknown). The representative from DCSD, Dr. Frazer, kept her presentation to a strict description of the charter application timelines as they are presented on the DCSD website. During the question and answer period, it was clear that Dr. Frazer was not going to or was not allowed to answer questions on anything other than timelines in a general sense. As one might imagine, this left the audience (and DHCC representatives) feeling rather frustrated and confused. You can read more about the ELPC board's response to this here.

This past week, the Druid Hills Charter Cluster published their account of interactions with the school district from the beginning of the process. It is, of course, one side of a two-sided story - but it is a disturbing read. Since DCSD and the board aren't talking, we don't know their perspective on the petition review and (non)approval.

The next school board work session and business meeting are scheduled for Monday, September 8, and based on the agendas that were posted Friday afternoon, there will be no vote or discussion on the DHCC petition. Cue the crickets again...

How long will this continue? Anyone's guess, it seems. However, even if approved, it is hard to imagine how such a ground-breaking charter cluster could ever be successful without these two parties entering into more constructive conversations.