Survey: One-tenth of DeKalb schools have poor cultures

DeKalb County had the highest number of schools in the state with the most unsatisfactory culture for 2015, according to a state rating system.

The state Department of Education reports today that 14 schools in DeKalb County received an unsatisfactory score on school culture, double the number from 2014. The schools are graded with one to five stars, with five representing an excellent school climate. One star represents a climate most in need of improvement.

Across the state, DeKalb had the highest number of one-star schools, 14. Neighboring Atlanta Public Schools was next highest with 12. Gwinnett County Schools had the highest number of five-star schools: 37. Cobb and Forsyth counties were next with 13 five-star schools.

Climate measures the quality and character of school life. State officials say a sustainable, positive school climate fosters student development, learning and overall quality of life.

The 14 DeKalb schools to receive one-star ratings are: Dunaire Elementary School, Meadowview Elementary School, McNair Distance Learning Academy, Montclair Elementary School, McNair Middle School, Oakview Elementary School, Wynbrooke Elementary School, Columbia Middle School, Miller Grove Middle School, Columbia High School, DeKalb Alternative School, McNair High School, Towers High School and International Community School.

Many of the schools in the district received an average climate rating, with 51 of the district’s 139 schools receiving three-star ratings in the survey.

In 2014, seven DeKalb schools received one-star ratings, including Dunaire Elementary, McNair Middle, and Columbia and McNair High. Chapel Hill, Redan and Pleasantdale elementary schools received one star in 2014 and received two, two and three stars, respectively, in 2015.