I am a retired teacher from Stephen Decatur. I stay involved in this school by volunteering and substitute teaching. I disagree with the other 2 comments. I see the most dedicated, caring teachers and staff at SD. They are working long hours and weekends to help every child succeed. The demands on the staff and students from the testing is the issue. They have to cover so much curriculum and improve test scores or they lose funding. Did you know that two years ago they were an "A" school? What changed? The way the state measures growth in test scores. They don't compare the same students' growth the next year. They compare one year students' scores to the last years ' student scores. Public schools have lost tax payers money because it is now going to charter and private schools. Public schools educate every child that comes through the door. I am proud of the students and staff at Stephen Decatur. They work hard and deserve recognition that is based on fair universal evaluations, unlike charter schools.
The quality of academic programs is excellent. I have 2 children at Stephen Decatur, and there teachers have been great, the homework is consistent with their lesson plans and most of it they can do on their own so I only have to go over it when they are sone. The staff goes above and beyond to make sure the chidren improve. The school was rebuilt in the last 2 years and it seems to have made for better learning environment.