The NAACP has concerns about the proposal from Superintendent Erroll Davis to close 13 APS schools. Here is a memo the civil rights group sent to the system expressing those concerns:
FROM: The Atlanta Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
RE: Proposed closing of public schools in the City of Atlanta
DATE: March 6, 2012
The Atlanta Branch of the NAACP is committed to the maintenance and improvement of all schools in the Atlanta Public School System. It is the goal of the NAACP to serve as a vanguard to protect the rights and resources of Atlanta’s underserved neighborhoods and minority citizens. The Atlanta Branch opposes the closing of public schools located in historically underserved communities governed by the Atlanta Board of Education. The current proposal of the superintendent and demographers [has] brought forth cause for the Atlanta Branch to respond to these plans with positive intent and purposeful objection. The ramifications of the given proposal and its effect on the overall growth and development of the Atlanta community are devastating. The proposal sends an unsavory message to parents and communities and sets a damaging precedent for managing public school facilities amid demographic and population shifts across the city.
The Atlanta Branch of the NAACP believes that there are more appropriate and suitable alternatives than the proposed number of school closures. Additionally we are also asking that Coretta Scott King and Best Academy be open to students district-wide so the student population at Douglass High School does not continue to be drained by the existence of King and Best Academy. Also, the magnet program concept should be re-instituted at Douglass, Therrell and Washington high schools, thus ensuring stronger populations of students from neighborhoods and schools across the City of Atlanta. We are last asking that you consider the elimination of the small school concept.
The Atlanta Branch is committed to the betterment of the lives of all children served by the Atlanta Board of Education. The Atlanta Branch of the NAACP will work with the Atlanta Board of Education to ensure that the quality of education for the children of Atlanta be preserved and maintained in all of the traditional and historical communities throughout our city.
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog