Cross Keys test

Editor’s note: The state Department of Education recently released results for the end-of-course tests given to high school students.

The Brookhaven Reporter published a chart showing the results for local high schools in our Aug. 9-22


Two Brookhaven readers – Mpaza Kapembwa and Kim Gokce – noted the results posted by students at Cross Keys High School and wrote to us to point out the students’ success.

Here are their letters and a portion of the chart showing the results of students at high schools in Reporter Newspapers communities in DeKalb County.

The chart at right shows the percentage of students tested at Cross Keys, Chamblee and Dunwoody high schools that did not meet standards in 10 subject areas tested, compared to Chamblee and Dunwoody high schools.

In some cases, due to curriculum changes, not all schools took the same tests or there weren’t enough students taking them to provide a general assessment.

Recognize accomplishments of Cross Keys’ students, teachers

To the editor:

When I was a student at Cross Keys, it was blatant that our facility was being ignored and we were a low priority. After the modest renovations in 2010, there was an air of morale amongst the students because we were now in an environment that was conducive to learning. Seeing that someone cared made an unimaginable difference for us.

Today, the narrative has to move beyond calling for completing the renovations as I and other supporters of the school have continued to advocate.

There are hints of a more profound dialogue in the test results of area high schools published in the Brookhaven Reporter dated Aug. 9-22. One that many will miss because even facts do not always subvert pre-conceived notions.

What is happening at CKHS is achievement in the face of multifarious challenges in the community, in the school system, and too often, an indifferent attitude from Brookhaven. Recognizing what our students and teachers are accomplishing would mean just as much, if not more, than what the renovations meant in 2010.

It would mean students will come into the school with renewed confidence. It would mean our teachers will know that the community they are serving is behind them.

Furthermore, this is not just about the school. It is also about the city. Most residents seem to be pleased with how well our city is doing, how well-received our police force is, and we need to add our school to this list. Perhaps this is a great starting point for a new dialogue about public education in Brookhaven.

Mpaza Kapembwa

Time to change the narrative about Cross Keys

To the editor:

In May 2009, I stepped onto the grounds of Cross Keys High School for the first time. I had heard negative impressions of the school for years. The physical conditions I found were so egregious I couldn’t accept them as appropriate for any school judged “good” or “bad.”

I discovered the reality at CKHS was different from what I had been led to believe. Cross Keys was far from a “bad” school. Yet the narrative about it had become so engrained in the community it had become an axiom … 2 + 2 = 4 and Cross Keys is horrible. This is still the misconception of too many in Brookhaven.

Meanwhile, the students continue to quietly achieve and overcome obstacles in school and in life. I was pleased, then, to note the recent sharing by the Brookhaven Reporter of the latest Department of Education data on area high schools.

I have seen data that can portray Cross Keys in almost any light one would choose. The same is true for all its peers who otherwise enjoy community support and even acclaim.

Like its peers, Cross Keys has areas where great improvement is needed. Nonetheless, there was something very interesting in the data reported. Cross Keys bested Dunwoody, Riverwood, North Atlanta, and was on par with Chamblee Charter and North Springs Charter in Geometry, Biology, Economics and Math II.

This is but one measure but begs the question: Isn’t it time to change the narrative about Cross Keys High School in our community?”

Kim Gokce