Student at closing charter high school: “It feels like nobody cares about me.’

Citizen journalist Nydia Tisdale brought her video camera to a meeting last week in Gwinnett with Ivy Prep parents, students and officials over the decision earlier this month to close the single gender charter high school on Oct. 30.

Ivy Prep decided to shutter its high schools in Gwinnett and DeKalb due to insufficient enrollment and ongoing financial challenges. There are 90 students in the two schools, which offered a blended learning model. Ivy Prep continues to operate its middle and elementary schools.

Tisdale operates the blog AboutForsyth.com. She often films government meetings and candidate forums and posts the videos. Tisdale was asked to stop filming inside the Ivy Prep meeting, but spoke to students and parents afterward.

Here is one such interview with a student and her mother. The 18-year-old is a senior who has attended the single gender charter school since sixth grade.

Reader Comments 0

102 comments
Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

RE: popcornular's comment about red weather


Why in the world is such a tasteless and inappropriate comment considered "featured"?  Is there no level of civility and manners left in media at all?

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@Quidocetdiscit 

Perhaps popcornular has managed to hack into "Get Schooled"?  This is extremely odd, not to mention the unfairness to redweather. ..who I do hope does not abandon this blog altogether.

popcornular
popcornular

@OriginalProf @Quidocetdiscit

I am sure redweather still has enough honesty and short term memory left to recall that it was he that originally posted a reference to this topic. You two need to unwad your panties and stop seeing goblins where they do not exist. 

(Though it is nearly Halloween. BTW, either of you going as a teacher this year?)

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@popcornular @OriginalProf @Quidocetdiscit 

But only you on this blog possess the level of meanness to repost your original truly snide post to redweather at the very top as "Featured."  (Though I now wonder if you have the technological savvy.)  YOU are the one who posted the truly trollish original.

popcornular
popcornular

@OriginalProf

Silly lady. You assume way too much. I bet you were always accusing your students of preposterous, dastardly deeds. 

eulb
eulb

Here's some info I found in the SCSC's website:

Next meeting of the SCSC will be Oct 28, 10 AM-noon in room 854 of the East Twin Tower.

Ivy Prep's finances are mentioned in the February and March minutes, items 15 and 12, respectively.  February is here: http://tinyurl.com/ogz4g2p

Funding:
Average State Funding per student attending brick & mortar state charter schools was $7,821 per student in fiscal year 2015.  
                              
On top of that amount, at the end of each fiscal year the SCSC distributes to the schools any of its own operating funds that it didn't use up. Total amount distributed in  August 2015 = $1,414,642.  I don't know how much of that went to Ivy Prep.


I didn't see any info about what happens to funds if a school closes partway through the year. 

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

Maiureen,can you find out from your Ga DOE contacts if Ivy Prep submitted and gets to keep the Oct 7 FTE count for its high schools?

living-in-outdated-ed
living-in-outdated-ed

It might have been the right decision, but why wasn't the decision made before the start of the school year?  it is becoming painfully clear that the school and its board did NOT communicate well at all and failed miserably in leadership and governance.  Watching the interview was very difficult.   The young lady was quite articulate and composed given the situation.      I know the folks at GCSA and I know this puts them in a really, really tough spot.

RichardKPE
RichardKPE

"It feels like nobody cares about me."


If you've learned that lesson, you're ready to graduate.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@RichardKPE 

A sad and cynical comment - not helpful to our young people.  I cared about all of my students throughout my 35 year teaching career, and they knew it, as did their parents.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@popcornular 

Maureen Downey, would you kindly remove popcornular ad hominem attack above regarding who I am.  It is slanderous, not related to content, and is not serious in intent.

Cere
Cere

@MaryElizabethSings  That comment was not a personal attack on you so you had no reason to defend yourself.  The comment was regarding the fact (and I do mean fact) that school boards, administrators and bureaucracies do not care about individual students.  They only care about systems, money and jobs for themselves.  Teachers are not decision-makers in school systems. Most teachers really do care about their students, but have no power to set up a classroom that is best for learning - that would include small class sizes, plenty of support staff for the teacher and quality learning books, materials and technology. Can't have it - those things would cut into the administrative salaries or expensive specialty programs set up for those in the know. Thus the unconcern for the everyday student. You really need to honestly look at administrations and not take these comments as personal attacks on you. I didn't read it that way whatsoever. In fact, one could surmise from the closing of a successful program that not only do these decision-makers not care about students, they don't care about their teachers either.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@RichardKPE 

As President Obama has often mentioned to the American people, we must not allow ourselves to become cynical.  We must keep trying to help and to reform, with courage and with hope, not with despair and weakness.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Cere 

Popcornular has repeatingly, at least 10 to 20 times, called me "narcissistic" on this blog.  That is personal and that is uncalled for.  The fact that he now announces a book on narcissism for me to read is simply more of same, with the intent to insult.  The link to his "recommended" book for me has nothing to do with education. 

I will keep mentioning this until someone in authority understands my complaint and addresses it because what he is getting away with is simply morally outrageous.


The comments in your post have nothing to do with the intent in Popcornular's post, based on the number of times he has insulted me personally in this way. It had nothing to do with "educational bureauracy."

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@RichardKPE 

Of course there is.  I am not addressing "delusional."  I am addressing "cynical," as it aptly applies to your post, which, again, is not conducive to positive growth for our young people, imo.

RichardKPE
RichardKPE

@MaryElizabethSings @RichardKPE So what does "positive growth" look like?  The girl in this article had a bunch of hope (I'm assuming), and found out that she was nothing more than a line item to the people who were supposed to care about her.  News Flash:  NO DUH!!!!!!  What she just got was a lesson on what the world really is, instead of the Utopian picture she had in her head.  It's probably the most positive growth she's had in her academic life. 


What would you prefer to tell her?  That her school gave a hoot about her?  She's right?  Poor baby?  They obviously care a lot more about their revenue which is about the most predictable thing since the boat sank in the Titanic movie.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@popcornular 

What you have gotten away with for the last few months in relation to your continuously calling me "narcissistic" is simply bullying, and that cannot be allowed to stand, either in the classroom or on a public blog.  I am simply calling you on it, as I would to any bully.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@RichardKPE 

You made a sweeping generality about all people in "life" and I simply refutted your remarks by giving you my personal testimony of how I helped 1000s of students in my teaching career by caring.

I agree with you that schools for profit often will not care about students or teachers and I have spoken out about that danger, but those of us in education who consider ourselves to be "public servants" will never allow ourselves to degenerate into pessimism and not caring regarding our students, their parents, and the process of educating our young.

Cere
Cere

@RichardKPE I understand and agree. The sooner young people figure out that a bureaucracy will never care about individuals, the better off they will be.  All people - young and old - have to learn to navigate systems finding the programs and people who will advance their personal goals.  Never, ever give up - just step to the left and move in another direction.  Navigation is key - and so is focus!  Best wishes to all the students at Ivy Prep - may you find your way -- keep going!!

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Cere FYI, I did not take Richard KPE's post as a "personal attack" on me, either.  Your judgment on that was off.  Please read my comments to Richard, below, however, about that which he did post.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@Cere @MaryElizabethSings 

I happened to read the posts to which I think MES was responding that have since been taken down, and they included some snide ones by Astropig and popcornular that did indeed seem like personal attacks. I don't think MES was mistaken in responding to them as such.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@OriginalProf 

Astropig's original personal remarks to me remain as they were.  I did not contest his rude comments; however, I did request that popcornular's slanderous remarks about my character be removed.  Popcornular's persistent attack on my character had been going on for months; thus, his ongoing personal attacks of me were abusive in nature (duration and degree).  And, that characteristic is what defines a bully, who must always be called out, in a classroom or on a public blog.

Cere
Cere

@OriginalProf @Cere @MaryElizabethSings Maybe I missed an earlier comment that was deleted, but I really didn't see anything personal except the recommendation to read a 'book' (one that doesn't exist)... 


You all do know that instead of posting your complaint in the comments, you can just click on the 'Flag' at the end of each comment and report anything you find offensive directly to the webmaster, right?

straker
straker

"perhaps parents should emphasize academics over sports"


In schools with mostly Black enrollment, that will never happen.


There are just too many who have no interest in academics and think they are "going pro".


Parents who think their kid is going to make millions in sports have no problem with this attitude at all.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

According to a previous article, Ivy's middle school students are opting for schools with a sports program upon entering high school, thereby, lowering attendance in their high schools?

Sad for those kids who choose to excel academically.

Perhaps parents should emphasize academics over sports.

Best of luck to Carrie and her Mom. 

ProHumanitate
ProHumanitate

@FIGMO2

The kids want things like clubs, sports and other extracurricular activities (drama, school newspaper, band, orchestra, debate, etc, etc). It's nearly impossible to have those options at teeny tiny high schools. 

Those experiences are also valuable for a child's development and preparation for college or career. They also provide opportunities for kids to find their "niche", and sometimes are the thing that keeps a kid interested in school.

I think it's unfair and inaccurate to characterize that as a choice between academics and sports.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

My remarks from below:


When I was Chair of the high school Reading Lab (with 2 or 3 teachers and 1 or paraprofessionals) for 15 years, I had to do the "business marketing" for our Lab in order to stay in "business."  You see, all of our reading courses from the most remedial (elementary level) to the most advanced (senior in college level) were elective courses.  If the students and their parents did not sign up for our reading elective courses and, instead, chose other electives, then our Reading Lab went out of "business."  I was well aware of that fact.  So how did we keep that Reading Lab open, serving the 1800 students in that high school who chose to sign up for our reading program?  We delivered.  And, the students and their parents knew that.  Word of mouth travels fast and the opinions can change rapidly for those who do not deliver, even in a traditional public school setting with elective courses. Students improved their reading grade levels by many years in one year, depending upon their individual aptitudes and commitment.  One senior came into our lab every lunch period to work on the speed reading machines in order to increase his reading rate for when he entered college the next year.  He more than doubled his rate of reading. Every spring I would announce in a public meeting the students who had outstanding verbal SAT increases on the official SATs after having taken my advanced reading classes.  The actual points of increase were announced to the public but not the scores themselves for those outstanding students.  Every spring I also went into every English class in the school to tell the students about our elective courses and I would invite them to enroll. I did this with the goodwill of the English teachers.  I created a Reading Lab Newsletter which was sent home with students regularly for their parents to read.  This required hours outside of my regular teaching responsibilities, and I was never paid any extra money for my "business" acumen in marketing.  The school's population knew of my commitment to those children and we had between 300 to 450 students in our reading lab at all times, during the 15 years I was there.


I am writing all of this not to "brag," as some will invariably misinterpret my motives, but to demonstrate to the public the value of traditional public schools who put students and teachers above their own financial gain because they are committed public servants.


Georgia is on the wrong track in improving our traditional public schools and its citizens through their legislators need to get on the right track before they destroy our traditional public schools through rigid ideological thinking.  If you want cohesion and continuity, as well as excellence in our traditional public schools in Georgia, then lend an ear to those who have made it happen.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Astropig 

Spouting lies does not make truth.  My reading lab was open for "business" and flourished for 15 years.  That is not a lie.  That is truth.  And, that is substance.
(We also opened our Reading Lab to those who could not register for our electives before school hours began - for no extra income - because the need was there.)

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Astropig 

I wrote only the facts of what I accomplished in my career of substance in public education.  If I created that kind of cohesion, continuity, and excellence for all of our students - from the most advanced to the most behind - then anyone can do the same.

Charter schools could only be a fad that will not last and will create chaos for many students, as is seen through this article.  Improve traditional public education and keep it viable and steady for students and teachers - and their communities.
Don't use unknowing citizens as pawns for profit.

Astropig
Astropig

@MaryElizabethSings @Astropig


It's not just a river in Egypt.The above is 100% fact.


Charters are closing in on 30 years. There is a million plus waiting list. I think it's safe to say that they're not a fad.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Calliope_ 

The parents in Ivy Prep High School had "free choice."  Parents are not educators and cannot possibly know all of the instructional principles which excellent educators know. 

 The young lady in that interview is now going to be reduced to home schooling from necessity according to her mother (and many home schools have a D accreditation rating, according to the video conversation), which not allow her to achieve her dreams of attending the University of Georgia, for her future aspirations. They gave hope, but they took it away.  Shameful.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Astropig 

I am not against all public charter schools, but I am for the continuation of our traditional public schools, improved.
The focus is erring, presently, imo.

sneakpeakintoeducation
sneakpeakintoeducation

@Astropig @MaryElizabethSings


As you say, charter schools have been here for 30 years and still they haven't shown the progress or increase in educational outcomes that they promised. If that's the case, there is no reason to have dual school systems, which our tax base can't afford. Thank you for pointing out the fact that charters have had their chance and, in almost all cases, failed. 

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Astropig 

You would never internalize what I have written, even if I posted the facts of my message 100 times, because your mind is almost always running on petty, competitive considerations, not substance.


I posted my message twice to reach a wider audience.  And, my message sorely needs to reach a wider audience, not for me.  I am retired.  But to gather more Georgians to support excellence in traditional public education which is not based on profit, but on public service to all of Georgia's students, equally, through public taxes.

bu2
bu2

@MaryElizabethSings @Calliope_


You don't understand home schooling.


Home schooling is dependent on the teacher-parent.


Many home schooled students come out exceptionally prepared.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@bu2 

I do not disagree nor was I trying to refute your words about home schooling in general, above.  I was simply relaying to this reading audience that which had been stated by the people involved at Ivy Prep directly in the video on this thread.

anothercomment
anothercomment

My daughter was in a tenth grade English honors class that on the initial reading test the class tested from being at second grade to 12 th level. 1/2 the class was 6 the and below. The teacher tried to encourage those below the grade level of 10th or even 9 th to go to guidance and get changed to the general class. My daughter was the only child that could read at the 12th grade level.

I went to the teacher meet and greet and low and behold the mama of the girl who could only read at the second grade level showed up to demand that the teacher change her daughters grade on the test. The teacher tried to explain to her it was merely a reading assessment. She also tried to explain her daughter did not belong in honors and would fail her class. She needed to move to the general class. Wouldn't listen. Then she said how can she get her grade up. The teacher responds, " read, read, read, read! The kid has on head phones and is dancing around. Finally mother makes her take them off. She says she don't like to read. The teacher says she needs to read on her own at the level above what the assessment says then move up once she mastered that. Well that is telling a 15-16 year old to read third grade books. So I interrupted and said she might like Chelsa Handlers books, they are at a more adult subject matter a And funny but they are written at an elementary grade level. I also offered that I had used them for a girl that I tutored and took on vacation with me.