APS school chief: Attempt to assign students to schools closest to their homes

APS school chief Erroll B. Davis wrote a letter to parents outlining his guiding principles for redistricting. He is careful to explain that his thinking on this issue has “evolved.” The next round of public meetings on the controversial redistricting plans is the week of Jan. 30.

Here are the guiding principles set forth by Davis:

Ranking of Priorities

Priority One

• Propose boundaries that will be functional for 10 years based on forecasted enrollment.

• Attempt to assign students to schools located closest to their homes. Allow K-8 students to walk where possible. The proximity of ES’s to MS’s should be maximized.

• Attempt to maximize/keep the school feeder concept intact. No more split feeders. Clusters only.

• When evaluating consolidation/closure scenarios and determining which facilities should be retained vs. closed, consideration should be given to minimizing disruption to established educational programming (retain existing IB programs, magnet schools, etc.)

• Ensure student safety and transportation efficiency by using major highway corridors and geographic features as zone boundaries. Give weight to traffic patterns, energy efficiency, etc. Consider time spent on buses.

• Assume NAHS capacity of 2400.

• Minimize impacts on areas that have been redistricted within the last three years.

• Recommend school consolidation/closures in areas where forecasted enrollment does not support multiple schools.

• Attempt to avoid splitting neighborhoods. (Neighborhood boundaries are determined by generally accepted definitions used by the City of Atlanta).

Priority Two

• Favor the retention of newer/larger facilities which have benefitted from recent capital investment in expansion or renovation.

• Retain more accessible, less congested school sites which have better transportation access and can accommodate future long-term expansion beyond the forecast period of this study.

• When consolidating, to the extent possible, avoid closing a high performing school to send children to a lower performing school.

• Don’t eliminate an IB school within an IB cluster.

• Retain ES splitting (K-3, 4-5) as a planning tool.

• Consider SPLOST funded school expansions as a planning tool.

• Be careful in moving students from high performing ES’s to low performing MS’s.

• Balance current utilization of retained buildings to 80% to 90% of capacity.

• In at least one model, minimize the number of transfers across the board.

Priority Three

• Before closing a school, consider the robustness of its partner support.

• No K-8 schools planning until Board reviews/resolves policy issues.

• Eliminate the 9th Grade Academy as a stand alone facility.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

76 comments Add your comment


January 20th, 2012
12:20 am

Horse poop.

Priority1: Keep job and skim as much cash as possible before being indicted.

Priority2: Hire good lawyer to stay out of jail and keep as much of the cash skimmed in priority 1 as possible.

Priority3: Graduate a couple of students.


January 20th, 2012
12:23 am

Or am I overly cynical?

Fred in DeKalb

January 20th, 2012
5:58 am

Yes, you are being overly cynical. Redistricting can be one of the most emotional issue communities deal with with respect to their children’s education. Regardless of the final lines drawn, some will be happy and some will be angry with the decision.


January 20th, 2012
6:14 am

Most of Davis thoughts sound pretty good. I especially like, “When consolidating, to the extent possible, avoid closing a high performing school to send children to a lower performing school,” as well as this “Be careful in moving students from high performing ES’s to low performing MS’s.”

Two Cents

January 20th, 2012
6:54 am

It is time for ALL school districts to stop playing their games and put the kids and what is best for them as top priority. Kids should be and should have been going to the schools closest to their home all the time. Our School Boards, higher echelon administrators, etc. need to get with the program.


January 20th, 2012
7:17 am

These very closely echo the comments we gave on the demographic study, which didn’t follow many (if any) of these principles. If they actually followed these maxims, they might end up with something good.

I wonder if we’ll find out that someone’s pockets were lined by the new northern HS site. It’s at the extreme edge of the City limits and won’t end up being convenient to anyone. Seems like there are plenty of fallow properties out there closer to the middle.

frustrated APS mom

January 20th, 2012
7:46 am

Have you seen the site? It is going to be very nice. I am encouraged about our high school for the first time in my life (and I graduated from Northside which is now North Atlanta back in the 80s). I think it will be worth a little inconvenience. I guess I see things differently – I would be driving the kids right around there somewhere if they were in private school so if it is a great school then it will certainly be worth the drive to get there. It is a great piece of property for a high school campus.


January 20th, 2012
7:57 am

Any change to APS can only be a good thing….


January 20th, 2012
8:14 am

“Retain ES splitting (K-3, 4-5) as a planning tool” – sounds to me like combining SPARK and Hope is still on the table.

Public Schools need Leadership Changes

January 20th, 2012
8:17 am

The APS is a disaster. All of the leadership should have been fired along time ago. Schools should support their students in their community first.

Sticky Wicket from Good Mom

January 20th, 2012
8:25 am

It’s this one that needs another caveat ” Recommend school consolidation/closures in areas where forecasted enrollment does not support multiple schools.”

It needs to add “and lease those buildings that are closed but do not sell them.”

Time and again we close schools and sell the property only later we need that property when the population shifts again but because the school board sold teh property, there is literally no where to put the school and that’s what causes all these crazy options that send kids 40 minutes to an hour away from home. That’s nuts!

Take for example the former Bass High School and the former school property that is now Horizon theater in Inman Park. In the seventies the area didn’t need those schools but now they certainly do. If we could reopen those schools we would not need to bus kids all the way to Jackson High School, which is an option now.

We should have closed the school but only leased the property. One could have leased it for office space or retail or a restaurant.

Close schools but do not sell the property. We will need it again later when populations shift. We are a metropolis for goodness sake. We just don’t have spare empty land lying around to build another school.

I must say, though, that Errol appears to be listening to his constituents. Many of these recommendations came straight out of some neighborhood meetings about the rezoning. Let’s just see if he can successfully implement them, especially the parts about not sending schools from a higher performing school to a lower performing school. There is just no way on this green earth (or in Atlanta’s case, this grey concrete) that I would ever send my kid to the cesspools of education known as Tumor elementary and Jackson High school.

To Frustrated from Good Mom

January 20th, 2012
8:40 am

Frustrated, you said “Have you seen the site? It is going to be very nice. I am encouraged about our high school for the first time in my life…I think it will be worth a little inconvenience.”

I have never seen the site but I trust you think it’s nice. I’ve heard that too but in matters of convenience you/we must consider this fact – convenience is not really about how far parents have to drive to school it is about how far kids are physically and emotionally apart from school. Studies have shown over and again that children who are involved in school perform better academically. I mean, just anything that keeps them interested in school works well to keep them in and educated. So, for you, who sounds like a reasonable parent, you might have the time and resources and the motivation to take your child to school to participate in things that go on after 3 p.m. or on the weekends or in the Summer…but…it’s those kids who are at risk that need the convenience most of all.

Many kids don’t have parents who either have the money or time and sometimes the motivation that you and I have to get their children to activities involved in school. So if those at-risk kids don’t have the means to get to the school, the miss out and drop out, which causes our society to be at risk of managing another criminal or another undereducated soul who has to depend on tax dollars to get by.

When we put a school, particularly a high school, within walking distance to home for an at-risk, kid, we greatly increase the likelihood that the kid will get and stay involved in something that keeps him or her interested in school. Please trust me, I speak from experience. I was one of those at-risk kids who lived miles from school and had so-called parents that wouldn’t take the time of day for me to get anywhere. I had no bus and no options.

We don’t have buses that will pick kids up at home and take them to band practice in the Summer. We don’t have buses to pick kids up from home to take them to chess club or for the swim team.

I like that you like the new high school proposal. You sound positive and involved. Please remember, though, that not every kid is lucky enough to have a parent likel you.

Good Mom

Former SPARK parent

January 20th, 2012
8:44 am

Erroll Davis is a principled and talented man who doesn’t need this job and doesn’t need our money. He agreed to come in–as a public service–to clean up the carnage after the train wreck that was Beverly Hall and we are lucky to have him. Some parents are still skeptical, but I watched him from inside the USG and he was then–as he is now–a strong-willed, pragmatic, politically savvy leader with a no-BS approach.

To Former Spark from Good Mom

January 20th, 2012
8:49 am

From your mouth to God’s ear as we say. Goodness, I hope you are right. Please tell us more of your observations from inside the USG. I would relish some good news. Please share.

To Already Sheared from Good Mom

January 20th, 2012
8:56 am

Regarding ““Retain ES splitting (K-3, 4-5) as a planning tool” – sounds to me like combining SPARK and Hope is still on the table.”

I understand the option and why it is there but what I cannot fathom is an elementary school without a playground. Have you see Hope? No playground and no where to put one. Even if the wonderful SPARK and Hope parents raise their own money for playground equipment, there is nowhere to put it. I can’t imagine little children not being allowed to go outside and play, can you?


January 20th, 2012
9:41 am

Okay my problem is this even if the school is close by we are not in a time when we can allow K – 8th graders to walk to school EVERYDAY, with all the pedophiles walking the streets, the bus system still needs to be utilized to the utmost…
And if your child is leaving a HIGH PERFORMANCE EMS, shouldn’t his performance remain HIGH at the MS….even if the MS is not on the “HIGH”performance list….

To Frankie from Good Mom

January 20th, 2012
9:57 am

Frankie, i agree that little kids aren’t safe walking alone to school but always riding the bus is not the only option. The parents in my neighborhood take turns walking the kids to school. It’s sort of like carpooling only it’s walk-pooling. It fights obesity and really does contribute to a sense of community, which is a good thing. many times the dogs go with us and we ride bikes too. Because I often have to travel to different offices I still have to drive my car but I park a block or two away from the school and walk in with my children, their friends and I chat with the parents of my childrens’ friends.

You also wrote “And if your child is leaving a HIGH PERFORMANCE EMS, shouldn’t his performance remain HIGH at the MS….even if the MS is not on the “HIGH”performance list….”

No, unfortunately it does not mean that because the peers, teachers, parents and administrators do not go along with the student to the different school. A child’s education is, of course, dependent on the teacher’s skills; the teacher depends on the support of the parents at home and we all need everything to be managed well by the prinicipal and staff.

If my child, who attends a high-performing school, attends a low-performing school where teachers and administrators cheat on CRCT tests, my child is influenced by those without integrity. Why teach them well when you can just change the test scores? Where is the motivation by the school system?

The same goes for the parents. If my child goes to school with other children who come from good parents/guardians they will be influenced by those children. They receive peer pressure to do well instead of hiding their academic achievements out of fear of being teased for “acting white.” You’ve heard of that, haven’t you? Black children, when speaking English properly and when succeding in school are often ridiculed for “acting white.”

Now add to the mix the real possibility that a child may go to elementary school without a playground. How counterproductive is that? Kids need to expel their energy so they can concentrate in class. Heck, adults need it too. We have to fight obesity, something very hard to do when you sit at a desk all day.

It’s for these reasons and more that SPARK parents don’t want to send their kids to Hope and why Mary Lin parents don’t want to send their kids to Tumor’s Toomer and why parents of Grady High don’t want to send their kids to Jackson High School.


January 20th, 2012
10:02 am

Frankie, my kids, and every neighbor kid I can think of, walk to middle and high school on their own all the time. They’ve been walking since they were in 4th grade. They walk in groups. If you look at FBI stats, you will see that violent crime and crimes against children are less common now than when we were kids.

The 24 hour news cycle has ruined childhood.

Understanding Atlanta

January 20th, 2012
11:08 am

Supt. Davis has a good going in assumption. In a city like Atlanta, as populations shift in-town, we will definitely benefit from smaller more intimate elementary schools that support neighborhoods. I also believe that long-term combining SPARK and Hope will allow for greater flexibility and lead to a greater cohesion of the area. I’ve gone through an ES split while in DeKalb back when they had K-7 elementary schools.

Redistricting is hard on everyone and not everyone will be happy with the results. I might be a bit too optimistic, but I do believe that APS will be a great school district holistically across all areas within the next 5 – 7 years.

Grady HS Demographics

January 20th, 2012
11:18 am

As a Grady parent, I am puzzled by the continued statements from the Lin & SPARK parents who do not want to send their children to elementary school with the Hill-Hope community or Lin parents who do not want to send their children to school with Toomer or Coan students for socio-economic factors including low parental involvement or their perceptions that the root of Hill-Hope’s problem is the children.

If you find the thought of sending your children to school with these children from this community repugnant, then I assume that none of you elementary-aged parents were planning to send your children to Grady. Thankfully, those who are at Grady now do not have your values and misperceptions about the children from this community because there is a movement to keep ALL kids at Grady. ALL means ALL and ALL would thus include Hill-Hope, Toomer, Coan and King students.

Mr. Davis’ guidelines leave you in somewhat of a quandry. The guidelins gives you conflicting values to your arguments: the high performing to low performing argument, no split feeder, 80%-90% capacity, K-2/3-5 model and other similar qualities that complicate your ability to argue that ALL children currently zoned to attend their current schools can stay at that school, mostly because the high performing schools are the ones with capacity problems.

Of course, those guidelines are yours to own and massage once you have all figured out what you really value, then you will have to shape your final arguments. Given your demands about being in a homogenous socio-economic student grouping, academic quality, location of school and other things on your list of demands, I would suggest that you might be happier in a private school setting where you get to control all of these decisions for your child.

Public school serves the public. The public includes children from all walks of life and there are those of us who value public school for that experience. Given the capacity issues, which are truly crucial to student safety and well-being (think of all of those science experiments about cannibalism with overcrowded rat cages), ALL just isn’t going to mean ALL.

I just hope that APS will not listen to those who are the noisest in the discussion but actually make decisions that benefit the long-term futures of all of our APS students and not just those who currently hold the golden ticket.

In the know

January 20th, 2012
11:26 am

Well the former principal at Hill did a marvelous job with the children that may potentially may end up at SPARK.

Sure they ended up on the “Severe Concerns” list, but all that really means is they had severe concerns about the honesty and integrity of the staff and leadership.

Principal Skinner

January 20th, 2012
11:37 am

APS to return Fed $$$ due to cheating?

I’ll believe it when the check is cashed by the Feds


January 20th, 2012
11:42 am

Fred – 12:23

Many times, when you tell the exact truth here, a sizable number of people just can’t take it and will go into complete denial.

There is a sickness in GA

January 20th, 2012
11:48 am

@ Grady HS Demographics I just think that the K-2/3-5 model is in the public’s interest. I believe that children in those grade need stability and I do not think the K-2/3-5 model provides that. If you can should me studies disproving that belief I am open to changing my opinion.

I do agree with you though that economically segregating our schools is not in the best interest of APS students as a whole. I just don’t know of a solution that doesn’t evolve long distance busing.


January 20th, 2012
11:54 am

Looks like Jackson is a winner. A good portion of Grady – Lin and Toomer are coming are way and Hope Hill will be going to Inman and Grady – Great!

Grady HS Demographics

January 20th, 2012
12:26 pm

@There is a Sickness. I am not in favor of the K-2/3-5 model; 5/6 split; or a 9th grade stand-alone.

Having high schoolers, the less transitions in a child’s life the better for the child and the child’s family. Middle school is miserable in public or private school because puberty is a horrible rite of passage. Most children have issues adjusting to their horomones, increased classroom demands, fluctuating peer groups, bullying, etc.

Why would anyone want to make these children suffer through more changes unless the educational research dictates that this type of change is a “best practice”? (If it is a “best practice,” then APS should already have it as a norm systemwide and not just in one cluster of schools.)

Sometimes less is more.

@Grady HS Demographics

January 20th, 2012
12:44 pm

Grady HS Demographics wrote: “Given your demands about being in a homogenous socio-economic student grouping…”

Wait a second. SPARK is around 40% non-white with over 40 current students residing in homeless shelters. A substantial portion of SPARK students come from immigrant families where Spanish is the primary language spoken at home. I was room parent for a lower grade class and was involved in making sure that 5 students (in one single classroom) who never brought snacks fpr the long school day received one (federal free breakfast and lunch programs don’t cover snacks, but if you’re a parent, you know that a lot of 5-7 year-olds can’t make it from 7-3:30 every day with just lunch, particular when lunch is served at 10:30) and in making sure that the many parents in our class who don’t speak English get crucial information.

If SPARK were broken into two parts, I don’t think I would have time to be room parent; I’d be driving kids back and forth between schools instead.

It’s possible that there are benefits to kids from lower SE groups being placed in schools with kids from higher SE groups. But to do that effectively, you have to have effective differentiation within the classroom (otherwise, as Mary Elizabeth has been pointing out so well on this blog recently, children being instructed far from their iinstructional level will get bored, get frustrated, feel there is something wrong with them, act out, and so on. … and, in the case of the lower groups, get further and further behind. To have effective differentiation, you need (1) very small classes – does anyone see that happening in APS right now?? (indeed, currently Hope-Hill doe shave small classes; they will certainly lose that if they move into K-2/3-5 schools with Lin or SPARK), and (2) very effective teacher training specifically for differentiation (does anyone see that happening at APS within the next couple of years?).

And so, add on top of the extremely different instructional levels that the kids would be at: classroom overcrowding, high student teacher ratios, teachers driving back and forth between schools that are far apart, students (from both neighborhoods) spending large amounts of time being bused to a school elsewhere, splitting parent effort (and oversight) between two schools …

So anyway, I’m curious since my kids aren’t that old yet. How does the differentiation at Grady work? How, for example, does a teacher teach AP calculus to kids who are on (or above) grade level at the same time as helping kids who are 4 or 5 years behind grade level catch up?

frustrated APS mom

January 20th, 2012
12:47 pm

We have a real problem with the overcrowding at our middle school. I am very anxious to see how they are going to deal with it. It sounds like they will keep our cluster together which means all 6 feeder elementary schools will go into one middle and one high school. I think that is too big. And after one year of trying to get used to it and learn their way around, they will all get moved somewhere else for 7th and 8th. I don’t want middle school to be miserable for my child and I don’t think it has to be. I just might have to pay to make sure it isn’t.

The Phantom

January 20th, 2012
1:35 pm

I still don’t think APS is accurately listening to the SRT3 parents….because:

I didn’t see anything about the 9th Hole Golf School, where NASA/CDC/Emory professionals (because they ONLY live north of the continental sub-divide) will teach all the kiddies about green environmentalism and the horrors of modern-day capitalism.

I didn’t see anything about the Kirkwood Real Estate Speculators cabal and their plans to depress home values north of the impassable Dekalb Avenue and buy them at cheaper prices.

I didn’t see anything about how great it would be to sell Toomer and redevelop the 38-acres of brownfield, since Hosea Williams is a 4-lane road and of course the neighbors wouldn’t mind ERD style traffic.

I loves me some Big Tent…it is so aptly named because it definitely is a circus in there!

Grady HS Demographics

January 20th, 2012
3:15 pm

@@Grady HS Demographics. Grady students who are in AP or Acclerated Math classes must meet academic qualifications, so not all Grady students are eligible to take them. The teachers in these classes do not have to differentiate instruction because the groups are ability-based and generally more well-behaved, serious scholars. AP class sizes are set nationally so that those classes are not overcrowded, but also there may not be a space for all given students who quality for that class or who wish to enroll.

The span of student readiness (you need to consider that students feed to Grady from Coan, King and Inman) in a Grady grade level math, English/LA, social studies or science class (core classes essentially) may include honors, grade level, PEC and repeat students (those who flunked the class the previous year or who didn’t pass the End of the Course Test). The very issues you present in your post as learning concerns (class sizes & teachers trained in differentiation & student boredom or conduct issues) present themselves fully with adult-sized students who are teenagers.

Grady continues to meet AYP most years, so it is doing something right even in an overcrowded environment.

A lot of credit should go to the teachers and above-average students in the classes which include a majority of neighborhood schools where the kids may have been undereducated due to cheating or other factors. They have a much different educational experience than those students who are in a more homogenous grouping due to the educational theme the student chose. Also, at some point, the kids who are too far behind to ever catch up, just drop out.

Grady HS Demographics

January 20th, 2012
3:20 pm

@Grady HS Demographics. Succinctly said, the issues you are concerned about only compound with age and with aging through the system. They do not solve themselves until a kid finally loses hope and drops out. Then, a whole different set of issues presents itself.

Public education needs to serve all of the public from K through 12. In an urban school, perhaps the counseling and support staff and social services are places where APS should provide more help. These kids didn’t sign up for their parents or to live in their neighborhoods.

APS Parent #2

January 20th, 2012
3:44 pm

@The Phantom. What is the Big Tent? Is that something about redistricting? (From your post, you seem like a nut, so I am truly interested in what you would describe as a circus.)


January 20th, 2012
3:48 pm

When I read the part about minimizing redistricting for schools that went through it 3 years ago, I thought it meant that maybe all or part, like Inman Park, of Lin would get spun off to Hope-Hill, which was redistricted 3 years ago. Another possibility, maybe part of SPARK like Poncey-Hi would either go to Hope-Hill or Lin, which would maybe be a “minimal” change to the SPARK population. Then I guess they need to build another middle school (DT Howard seems to have some momentum), and address the Grady challenge, maybe zoning out portions west of I-75/85? Who knows.

@Good Mom, are you saying that Hope-Hill was involved in the cheating scandal? Or Toomer? I know Hope-Hill definitely was not. Not sure about Toomer.


January 20th, 2012
3:54 pm

frustrated APS Mom- I know it’s complicated but there are a lot of properties that are more centrally located for the new HS. Ones that pop to mind are the demo’d apartments in Peachtree Hills, several areas along Piedmont, and I’m sure there are others. When the district currently covers everything E to the train tracks on Lenox Rd (off Cheshire Bridge), some folks will really get the shaft on getting kids to school on Northside Pkwy.

Ed Johnson

January 20th, 2012
4:59 pm

“My thinking has evolved.” –Erroll Davis

Let’s pray the abject poverty of thinking going on among some folk down at the Georgia Legislature would evolve…

Ed Lindsey — HB 731, “Parent Trigger Act”
Ed Setzler — HB 654, “Locally Initiated Funding for Educational-Choice (LIFE) Act” (i.e., vouchers)

What they are doing can only lead to undercutting any good that might come to APS, specifically, and public education in Georgia, in general.

To ALex from Good Mom

January 20th, 2012
5:08 pm

Toomer was absolutely involved in the cheating scandal. It was one of the worst offenders. Hope had some high probabilities of cheating as deemed by the erasure analysis but did not make the list of schools to be concerned about.

Hope is an elementary school in the city with no playground. That is a big concern for many parents and I agree a valid concern for elementary students.

To In the Know from Good Mom

January 20th, 2012
5:18 pm

In the know, you wrote “Sure they ended up on the “Severe Concerns” list, but all that really means is they had severe concerns about the honesty and integrity of the staff and leadership.”

Do you mean what it looks like you mean? From your comment you seem to say that the integrity of the staff and leadership is not a big deal, just nothing to worry about…that’s like telling Marie Antoinette, at her beheading, not to worry about the guillotine chopping her head off because it was just a little headache.

To Grady HS Demographics from Good Mom

January 20th, 2012
5:22 pm

You say “I just hope that APS will not listen to those who are the noisest in the discussion but actually make decisions that benefit the long-term futures of all of our APS students and not just those who currently hold the golden ticket.”

Who holds the golden ticket and how can I get one?

To Grady HS Demographics from Good Mom

January 20th, 2012
5:33 pm

Grady you say “I am puzzled by the continued statements from the Lin & SPARK parents who do not want to send their children to elementary school with the Hill-Hope community or Lin parents who do not want to send their children to school with Toomer or Coan students for socio-economic factors including low parental involvement or their perceptions that the root of Hill-Hope’s problem is the children.”

How about the cheating? I wouldn;t want my kids at Toomer because of the cheating. A handful of teachers and the principal are suspended but please don’t try to convince all of us that all the staff who are left had absolutely no involvement in this incredible injustice and corruption.

By the way, where do YOUR kids go to school?


January 20th, 2012
5:34 pm

Yes Toomer was invovled in the cheating. A new principal took over in the Spring of 2009 and along with the parents changed the school. This year the school is cited as having one of the greatest gains in the State http://gov.georgia.gov/vgn/images/portal/cit_79369762/180557958Greatest%20Gains%20FINAL.pdf


January 20th, 2012
5:48 pm

IT was the fall of 2009


January 20th, 2012
5:49 pm

@Good Mother, could you point me to the evidence that “Hope had some high probabilities of cheating as deemed by the erasure analysis but did not make the list of schools to be concerned about.” I think you may be referring to Hill actually, but I’d like to see where you get this from. I checked the ajc’s database because I was curious (never heard that allegation about Hope-Hill before), and I don’t see what you’re talking about.

Hope-Hill may not have a playground, but that’s something the school is working on. And they have a gym plus access to all of the MLK Historic Site facilities like the pool and tennis courts. Sounds like quibbling to me.

No way

January 20th, 2012
5:59 pm

Virginia – Dream on. Mary Lin will stay at Inman and Grady.

Marie Antionette

January 20th, 2012
6:33 pm

@Good Mom – if you wouldn’t want your kids at a school where any leaders cheated, then you aren’t a Springdale Park parent. The SPARK principal was the principal of CW Hill and it was listed on the schools with alleged cheating. A few of those teachers also tracked to SPARK.

If you’ll read the state’s CRCT report closely, it doesn’t seem like the state as thoroughly investigated that principal or staff at the staff at that school because by then, Hill had been closed and merged into Hope & the principal moved to SPARK. You can’t clear someone without a thorough investigation.

Has any parent ever filed an Open Records Act to find out if APS took any actions against her after-the-fact since anyone who was following this closely really was left with the impression that this was a gap in the state’s investigation that should have been closed by either naming her or clearing her? Or was Mr. Davis’ statement that no principal or teacher who had been implicated in cheating just rhetoric? (Just because she got lucky and landed in a top tier school doesn’t mean that she didn’t have an issue at Hill and so it would be nice if APS would on its own close the gap on this as well as any other teachers or staff which the state skipped over.)

Our children deserve leaders with integrity.

SPARK to Hill-Hope

January 20th, 2012
6:39 pm

@Marie, you have made the perfect point.

Hope-Hill and SPARK make great K-2/3-5 pairings since the SPARK principal has connections with families in the O4W and understands how to teach those children. (Since the state didn’t implicate her, I’ll take it that her gains were genuine since SPARK students scores are quite high.)

Hope-Hill and SPARK can then feed to Inman and Grady to keep Grady’s diversity the way those parents like it so much. After all, if you keep MES, SPARK and Lin only at Inman and Grady, then APS will get sued for sure and the parents who claim they like diversity will have a fit.

To Marie Antoinette from Good Mom

January 20th, 2012
6:44 pm

Thanks for your comments. I did not know the Hill principal was implicated. I only looked at Hope’s CRCT scores and erasure analysis. Dear Lord I am depressed again.

To Alex from Good Mom

January 20th, 2012
6:52 pm

“Hope-Hill may not have a playground, but that’s something the school is working on….sounds like quibbling to me.”

I really don’t like quibbling but every kid deserves and needs a playground. I’m very interested. How are they “working on it?” I know how things go in government, you know like how the Splost money is supposed to be spent on capital investments but somehow the schools don’t ever get expanded?

I will believe it when I see it (the playground) and when it happens, I’ll be delighted to eat my words.

@Toomer from Good Mom

January 20th, 2012
6:56 pm

“This year the school is cited as having one of the greatest gains in the State ”

Isn’t that sad? That it had the greatest gains? That means it was so far on the bottom that it had no where to go but up.

The Phantom

January 20th, 2012
7:12 pm

@ APS Parent # 2:


You might think I was being wacky, but I was only sarcastically listing some of the more whacked-out things I’ve read on that forum in the last 6-weeks.

The forum’s stated goal is thus: “The purpose of the BigTent group is to allow members the opportunity to openly discuss redistricting issues, and express their opinions.” But the true goal seem to be an online meeting place for those neighborhoods north of Dekalb Avenue to get together and scheme about how they can keep their schools together and screw everybody else. And as long as they allow Levy and Lockridge (seriously, do either of you still have a child in APS?) to keep speaking for them, the rest of us in SRT3 will just tune them out. If there any sane people in 30307, I apologize for the generalizations, but please let your voice be heard above the noise.

If the comments that have been presented in Bigtent are representative of the majority opinions of “North SRT3″, then myself and others hope they get everything they ask for. I wouldn’t want my kid to be exposed to them if they somehow slipped out of their insular bubble-world and slipped south of the continental sub-divide*; I’m afraid that their entitlement, “I got mine, screw you”, “got to keep the real estate values up” mentality would spread like a contagious disease.

*I couldn’t make this up: some of the discussions centered around Dekalb Avenue being “crossable” on a daily basis if some of the Mary Lin kids are sent south to Toomer/BPA/Whitefoord/Coan. One person brought up that Dekalb Avenue is part of the continental sub-divide, and water north flows to the Atlantic/water south flows to the Gulf. Somehow this was supposed to be a deterrent. Although thousands of people head south to the Target/ERD shopping center daily.

To Alex from Good Mom

January 20th, 2012
7:12 pm

” I think you may be referring to Hill actually, but I’d like to see where you get this from.”

OK, here are the results. 2.8% of classes at Hope were flagged. Any school having under, I believe I remember 5%, wasn’t investigated. Look here so you can see all results. Notice Tumor’s Toomer results:

Here’s Hope:
District School Percent Of Classes Flagged Category Atlanta Public Schools Hope Elementa 2.80% Clear


and here’s Tumor’s Toomer:
get this….Hope had 2.8% flagged as cheating and Toomer had a whopping 21.4%.

from: http://public.doe.k12.ga.us/DMGetDocument.aspx/GA09spr_WTR%20by%20School_Public_FINAL.pdf?p=6CC6799F8C1371F624A4E037F1FCCCEF972A203ADFF3EFA8382E8A05B2E851FB&Type=D

One blogger pointed out the investigation was waaaay back in 2009…just two and half years ago. Those same teachers are still in that school. I am not convinced the dirt and filth that is corruption and greed has left Toomer elementary school and I sure wouldn’t trust anyone there with the education of my child.