APS: Many principals in flux. North Atlanta parents in protest over mega schools.

The plans to redistrict many Atlanta schools have led to several new advocacy groups of parents, including Meet in the Middle APS.

With Superintendent Erroll Davis taking comments through today on his proposal on how to close schools and shift attendance lines, the group sent me its position paper on middle school configurations. After Davis makes his final recommendations on redistricting, the Atlanta school board will vote April 10.

Meet in the Middle APS opposes the proposal to convert Sutton Middle into a 6th grade academy and make the current North Atlanta High School a mega middle school with approximately 2,000 seventh and eighth graders.

(An aside on APS: I am trying to get a comment from APS about the news that quite a few principals were told they did not have their jobs at their same schools next year. The group includes veterans and newbies to the principal posts.  There will apparently be consolidation and realignments designed to both save money and improve efficiency. The folks who got this news this week will be able to apply for the open slots. I sent a note to Keith Bromery of APS yesterday but no response  yet. Keith, are you out there? )

Keith Bromery is out there: He just sent me this response:

APS is initiating personnel changes, which is a regular, recurring activity for the period near the end of the school year.  The personnel changes are associated in part with the administration’s initiative to transition four of the district’s 10 high schools from the Small Schools structure with multiple principals on a single campus to the Small Learning Communities (SLC) model with one principal and academy leaders in charge of the small, themed learning communities on these campuses.

While both models are effective in serving students, the SLC option is seen as more encompassing and allows for more efficient use of resources beyond the confines of the Small Schools’ boundaries.  The SLC model also allows for more collaborative opportunities among all educators on a campus, as well as better class scheduling and the implementation of common planning times.

Most APS high schools are already configured as Small Learning Communities. This effort is also part of the administration’s overall initiative to place the very best educational leaders in schools throughout the district.

When I asked Bromery about the reported changes in elementary and middle school leaders — which would not fall under this SLC explanation — he responded: “The only explanation offered on APS personnel matters at this point is what was sent previously.”

I know that our news reporters are pursing these changes, and the AJC will have a story shortly.

Back to redistricting. Here is the Meet in the Middle group’s position:

Meet in the Middle APS is a group of concerned individuals from six elementary schools in the SRT4 cluster whose goal is to ensure that there are two smaller, equally strong and diverse middle schools in our cluster.

We oppose the district’s current recommendation of creating a large sixth grade academy (600-700 students) and a massive mega-middle school that is twice as large as anything currently in the district. We have no opinion on how the boundaries of the two schools should be drawn.

The benefits of two equally strong middle schools clearly outweigh any of a mega-middle school. Academic research, the superintendent’s guiding principals and common sense support this position.  Research and empirical data show that smaller schools have higher test scores, better grades, improved attendance, higher graduation rates, greater safety and less violence; more parental/community involvement and greater teacher satisfaction.

Not only are two middle schools supported by current enrollment, this solution also promotes the superintendent’s other priorities by ensuring: (a) the proximity of students to the school; (b) student safety; (c) transportation efficiency; and (d) better access.  Finally, smaller schools increase one’s opportunities for involvement in extracurricular and leadership activities, increase the familiar faces students know in school, reduce administrative burdens and save money.

Yes, smaller schools have lower costs per graduates than larger ones.  The support for two, smaller, equally strong middle schools is overwhelming compared to a factory model, mega-middle school and a segmented sixth grade academy.

We have yet to hear a good argument explaining how the district’s current plan of creating a mega-middle school better serves the children. In fact, after being consulted by the North Atlanta Parents for Public Schools in 2011, Dr. Mary Ariail of Georgia State University, an expert in middle school education, concluded that a creation of a 6th grade academy and a 7th-8th grade middle school was the “worst configuration available.”

This is why more than 700 concerned parents from all of our elementary schools have signed our petition in a little more than a week.  Seven hundred signatures  –  even though only parents of children currently in 3rd grade or below are directly affected.  APS should at least put more thought and due diligence into this decision, and then support it.

If the APS must decide now, make the decision based on what is in the best interest of all the children, not on a group of parents’ fear of change.  Let’s not settle for the “worst configuration available.”  Let’s give it some time to have a clearer picture of what’s to come. Sign our petition and contact Superintendent Davis and the APS Board of Education with your comments.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

50 comments Add your comment

skipper

March 30th, 2012
9:50 am

RJ

March 30th, 2012
10:35 am

I question how many teachers were a part of the planning of this mega middle school. Anyone that has taught middle school will tell you that the middle school model doesn’t work. Now, you’re going to take 2,000 7th and 8th grade students and put them in one school. That is an awful idea. I hope that Mr. Davis listens to these parents and the experts that have weighed in.

Beverly Fraud

March 30th, 2012
10:47 am

I really don’t understand. Under the inspired leadership of Dr. Beverly Hall, National Superintendent of the Year, APS had a decade PLUS of research based best practices, and enjoyed the support of BOTH the educational and business community.

As such, Hall oversaw a historic SYSTEMIC reform, based on the best education has to offer. Therefore, isn’t all this arguing over which school a child goes to rather PETTY? Isn’t this like lamenting whether or not your child got assigned to HARVARD or YALE?

After all, haven’t the children of APS, over the past decade, had the best the educational community has had to offer? All this arguing is ALMOST like implying there is something dysfunctional about Atlanta Public Schools, and as APS has been the veritable gold standard in “education reform” that boggles the mind that someone would hesitate to put their child in any APS school.

Beverly Fraud

March 30th, 2012
10:54 am

“I sent a note to Keith Bromery of APS yesterday but no response yet. Keith, are you out there?”

When one looks at the words of APS mouth organ Keith Bromery, don’t the words strike you as coming from one of UNQUESTIONED and UNPARALLELED integrity?

KC

March 30th, 2012
11:00 am

2000 students is the max forecasted for three grades: 6, 7, and 8. Only 1400 in the 7-8th grade building.

http://www.atlantapublicschools.us/cms/lib/GA01000924/Centricity/Domain/45/cluster_projections-1.pdf

Ali

March 30th, 2012
11:05 am

Great, let’s put 7th and 8th graders in one giant building. Smacks of the old junior high school model that we have all been working so hard to avoid. I want to believe in public education, but APS, you make it difficult.

@Ali

March 30th, 2012
11:09 am

so where would you put the 7th and 8th graders?

James Connah

March 30th, 2012
11:15 am

If you choose to live in the city then you have to take what they dish out and like it. These rich Buckhead types will have their pampered kids thrown in with the thugs and losers who populate so many Atlanta schools. I think it is hilarious !! The BOE has so many on it who must have been mediocre public school students. Enjoy paying heavy taxes for this !!!!!!!!!1

Maureen Downey

March 30th, 2012
11:20 am

@Beverly: See comment from Keith Bromery now in blog.

Beverly Fraud

March 30th, 2012
11:30 am

From Bromery:

“Small Schools structure with multiple principals on a single campus to the Small Learning Communities (SLC) model with one principal and academy leaders in charge of the small, themed learning communities on these campuses.”

Again, it sounds like debating the merit of Harvard vs Yale. Why all the fuss? It’s like the people of Atlanta have just cast aside a decade’s worth of the business and educational communities endorsement of APS as the veritable gold standard in education reform?

What do they base such rashness on?

MiltonMan

March 30th, 2012
11:45 am

They are building a new high school right down the road from the house. You know what, you live in an area of low-crime, good schools, above avergae incomes you will see expansion and not consolidation.

“Research and empirical data show that smaller schools have higher test scores, better grades, improved attendance, higher graduation rates, greater safety and less violence; more parental/community involvement and greater teacher satisfaction.”

What??? Look at the large schools in North Fulton; then come back with this nonsense above.

exaps teacher

March 30th, 2012
11:58 am

It is nice to see the do nothing overpaid and under-qualified principals ( some of them deserve to be called thugs), squirm about their job security.

Stark Raving Mad

March 30th, 2012
12:11 pm

Putting 2,000 7th and 8th graders into one middle school is stark raving mad.
They’ll get lost in there. A school that big is simply terrifying.
Adolescents in puberty need special attention. It’s really difficult time for them. We need smaller numbers in a middle school so that kids don’t get lost in the shuffle.
I would never want to send my kid to an institution with that many kids.
GM

ELA

March 30th, 2012
12:51 pm

It is a shame we can not go back BEFORE BH came to Atlanta. She personally and professionally did more harm than good for our students and teachers. She indeed was a fraud.

I would like to see APS create an 8th grade academy for students instead of a 6th grade one. Students who will be 9th graders need much more to prepare them for high school. After this period of time, they should hopefully be more equipped to enter into the high school setting.

RJ

March 30th, 2012
12:55 pm

@MiltonMan, not every north Fulton School is as awesome as you continue to tell us. There have ALWAYS been North Fulton schools that haven’t made AYP. The reality is smaller schools are better for students. Kids this young really need that smaller environment. I spent the majority of my career teaching this age group and I can assure you it will be equivalent to a zoo with that many 7th and 8th graders running around. Not to mention a huge 6th grade academy.

frustrated APS mom

March 30th, 2012
1:05 pm

Okay – I will go ahead and say what I have said several times on this blog – we are out of the game for middle school. Our oldest won’t go to Sutton. Now that I have been honest about that, I will say that I think this meet in the middle group is being very selfish and misleading. Nobody was complaining about the size of Sutton until the demographers surprised everyone with the idea of two middle schools. Pretty much the whole community was on board with the sixth grade center concept. But they got a taste of what they might be able to have (Smith and Jackson feeding into Sutton and everyone else going to the new school) and they started drooling. They keep putting this 2000 number out there, but a third of those kids would be in a completely separate building on a campus a couple of miles away. Plus they are only at 1300 now and it will be years before that number hits 2000, and that is if and only if the families stay committed to public school.

If APS decides to go with this group’s proposal, there will be one big school (North Atlanta) and one small school (Sutton). The big school will have all the diversity and will be expected to start from scratch with PTA, IB, fundraising, parent volunteers, staff, etc. and the small, already established school will be full of affluent white kids. The families that might have tried Sutton won’t be willing to try the big new school. APS will lose many families over this. The only way it would work is if they split the schools up and did it geographically and that would mean a big part of Jackson would need to get sent to the new school. And that ain’t gonna happen. The whole thing is a huge mess, and the worst possible thing they could do is delay the decision a few years. That will kill the momentum that Sutton has been enjoying over the last few years.

alex

March 30th, 2012
1:08 pm

Save my money, drive a 16 year old honda, no credit card debt, shop at aldi’s,cut my own grass= private school for my children and VERY happy this does not apply to me.

Tom

March 30th, 2012
1:12 pm

“Pretty much the whole community was on board with the sixth grade center concept. But they got a taste of what they might be able to have (Smith and Jackson feeding into Sutton and everyone else going to the new school) and they started drooling.”

That is what’s sparking their proposal.

I’d like to see how many families from outside Jackson/Sarah Smith have actually signed this petition.

frustrated APS mom

March 30th, 2012
1:16 pm

alex, I agree with you. We are going to take a huge hit paying for private school next year but it is worth it. Once we decided we were out, I can’t even tell you how relieved I felt. But this does apply to us as property owners, so I want things to work out. We will be keeping an eye on the new high school, though. It has the potential to be very good (if APS doesn’t mess it up).

Entitlement Society

March 30th, 2012
1:24 pm

@Alex & Frustrated APS Mom – we’re with you too. No yard guy, no ski vacations, no etc, etc. so we can sleep well at night and not deal with this mess! Kids’ education comes first.

George

March 30th, 2012
1:26 pm

People Disiciple

CB

March 30th, 2012
1:58 pm

No one outside of Sarah Smith/Jackson has signed this two middle school petition. A separate North Buckhead Middle School (Sutton) being fed only by Sarah Smith/Jackson is only the first ask from these folks. I speculate that phase II (approximately five years from now) would include a separate North Buckhead High School for just Sarah Smith/Jackson. This two middle school concept is extremely divisive right now. Sutton has gained a lot of positive momentum over the last few years in the North Atlanta cluster. A separate 6th grade academy and 7th/8th middle school would ensure continued positive middle school momentum in the North Atlanta Cluster. Many neighborhood families would not participate in the currently proposed Jackson/Smith 2 middle school plan.

skipper

March 30th, 2012
2:00 pm

APS………….cluster!!!!!!!

Dottie

March 30th, 2012
2:07 pm

frustrated APS mom – I agree residents should have been paying attention earlier. However, I have disagreed with the 6th Grade Academy from the beginning and it has NOTHING to do with the demographics. It has to do with my belief that smaller schools are better. I want the 7th & 8th grade teachers to see my 6th grader around campus and vice versa. I want the teachers to all be in the same community. I do not want to have three children in three separate locations! Get informed and quit making assumptions.

Meet in Middle = Separate But Equal

March 30th, 2012
2:10 pm

I agree with Frustrated APS Mom and Tom. The group “Meet in the Middle” appears to only really be interested in one thing, and that is creating a middle school fed by only the elementary schools in Buckhead that are virtually entirely caucasion. They see this as an opportunity to create a “separate but equal” middle school, and peel themselves away from the more racially diverse elementary schools in Buckhead such as Garden Hills and E. Rivers. Right now they “have no opinion” of how the lines should be drawn for the two middle schools. How convenient. I wonder how much opinion they will spontaneously begin to have once APS elects to go with two smaller middle schools? I wonder what the chances are that Meet in the Middle will then form the opinion–for the very first time, of course–that the all-caucasion schools should attend the existing middle school (that also happens to have the coveted enhanced accreditation status that Sutton currently has). And they will for the very first time form the opinion that all of the more diverse schools in Buckhead can feed into the “separate but equal” middle school. That school won’t even be eligible for the enhanced accreditation status for 5 years following its formation, but that’s okay–the schools are “separate but equal”.

Old South

March 30th, 2012
2:31 pm

“8th grade middle school was the “worst configuration available.”

Buying a home in the Atlanta city limits, and then expecting well designed public schooling is the home owners ignorance. I assume most of all the parents are from the NE?

You didn’t know what you bought– hundreds of years of denying/abolishing/refusing education.

Meet in Middle = Separate But Equal

March 30th, 2012
2:40 pm

CB is right on the money. And I wonder what the chances are that Dottie lives in the Jackson/Sarah Smith district?

“I want the 7th & 8th grade teachers to see my 6th grader around campus and vice versa.” Yeah, because that’s what’s really important in your child’s education–the fact that a teacher of a higher grade level walks by your child in the hall every once in a while.

“I want the teachers to all be in the same community.” Wow, not even much of an attempt to conceal true motive there. At least you’re an honest “Meet in the Middle” member. What larger “community” is it that you fear the teachers and students will be coming from in the one large middle school scenario?

“I do not want to have three children in three separate locations!” Really? You want all of your kids to attend the same school at the same time throughout their lives? Unless you have triplets, the chances are pretty slim, regardless of whether there is a separate 6th grade academy. Good news, though, for all doting Buckhead parents in Jackson/Sarah Smith, you don’t have to drive all of them to school in your Land Rover. Since they attend public school, there is no additional charge for them taking the bus.

Educational Disparity

March 30th, 2012
3:14 pm

@CB, there are several parents outside of Sarah Smith and Jackson who have signed the petition who live in the Grady cluster. They share similar concerns.

The Grady cluster parents not only have the middle school issue, but believe that APS won’t address their elementary, middle or high school capacity issues because their elected board member is more concerned about the “demographics” of Grady per several of her key supporters’ emails and the position of the middle school LSC (ie, why are demographics relevant in a capacity discussion when you are all living in mixed intown neighborhoods).

Buckhead (and Grady), remember the “Voices” petition group if Grady gets overcrowded. Don’t waste wail, whine or sling mud to the north if your schools become insanely overcrowded. APS was willing to address your capacity issues, but instead yielded to some of you who seemed more concerned about a whiter, brighter path for your children.

Who said segregation in Atlanta was Gone with the Wind? It will be interesting to see if the elected Atlanta Board of Education members honor intown’s heritage of the birthplace of Margaret Mitchell or Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. What kind of character will they show and will they really draw boundaries lines establishing a two-tiered quality system for APS?

Tired of the Accusations

March 30th, 2012
3:31 pm

I signed the petition and I’m tired of being accused of wanting a smaller middle school where my child can spend three years because I don’t want to be in a diverse environment. You won’t believe me when I say that I don’t care how they carve up the district to create the two smaller schools -and let’s be clear…they will only be smaller. Even with two schools, they will still be among the largest in the system. Sutton is already too big and the only thing that is going to change that is having a second middle school.

frustrated APS mom

March 30th, 2012
3:54 pm

But don’t you understand that the two facilities are very different in size? We would NOT end up with two smaller schools. We would end up with one small school and one big school. APS has spent this whole year making it clear to us that they can’t afford to operate facilities with empty seats. Sutton has a capacity of 800. North Atlanta has a capacity of 1500. That is almost twice the size. Do you honestly think they will just split it up nice and even?

Brandy

March 30th, 2012
3:58 pm

@Ali, Many years ago, on April 1st/April Fool’s Day, the Newnan Times-Herald had a front page article that they were cancelling 7th grade. Just doing away with it–test scores always go down during 7th grade, behavior problems always go up, and absences trend higher than other grades, so they were just going to eliminate it. Sadly, that was a joke. ;-) Maybe APS is should try that model? But of course I jest.

rojer

March 30th, 2012
4:01 pm

Some people just like to bitch. How can you even have an opinion on this right now? Do all these people hold doctoral education degrees? Segregating 6th graders from 7-8th graders is a pretty new discussion. Have you all conducted the research to determine that this segmentation has a negative impact on academic or social performance? The only conclusion is that the decision should not be based on a desire for or against redistricting. Educational outcomes should be the metric and I doubt these folks have an understanding of what the results are likely to be.

Ivan

March 30th, 2012
4:04 pm

Also applies to the old SRT3 (Grady cluster). However, Buckhead is much more vocal, organized and not afraid to stand up for common sense.

Meet in Middle = Separate But Equal

March 30th, 2012
4:29 pm

You’re right, Tired of the Accusations–I don’t believe you. If you’re real concern is dealing with overcrowding, I wonder what your position, and the position of all of the other Jackson/Brandon/Sarah Smith residents’ was regarding the alternatives that were proposed last month to address the overcrowding problem at the elementary schools that are truly most overcrowded in SRT 4 in Buckhead, E. Rivers and Garden Hills? At that time, the Superintendent had proposed two alternatives that would have addressed the overcrowding issue at these schools, and they proposed addressing the overcrowding issue in part by redrawing the boundaries of the elmentary schools in SRT 4. But the Brandon/Jackson/Sarah Smith districts sure didn’t seem to want to make overcrowding issues a priority when it meant some of them might be rezoned for E. Rivers or Garden Hills. No no, quite the contrary, then overcrowding in schools didn’t seem to be a concern at all for them, and they came out in droves to lobby APS to keep things “just the way they are” , and “keep Brandon Brandon.” It seems that, “smaller schools” and “addressing overcrowding” are only priorities for Brandon/Jackson/Sarah Smith residents when it presents them with the possibility of “keeping Brandon/Jackson/Sarah Smith” just as they are, ideally right through through middle school if they can, and even high school one day, if possible.

Reality

March 30th, 2012
5:13 pm

Ivan….you just hit the nail on the head when you used the words “common sense.” Since when has that EVER applied? God help our children!!!

bu2

March 30th, 2012
6:05 pm

@meet
It seemed like the most vocal parents against rezoning the Buckhead elementaries were the Bolton and E. Rivers parents, at least on this site. Based on capacity, they could fit everyone in North Atlanta right now with the current 1300 students.

1400 students is anything but a mega school. 2100 students isn’t either. But the 6th grade academy doesn’t make sense. They just need to make sure it isn’t a north/south split.

Dekalb principals

March 30th, 2012
6:44 pm

Dekalb principals are also awaiting a fruit basket turnover. Lots of changes are underway and have not been announced.

james crawford

March 30th, 2012
9:49 pm

Beginning in 8th grade I attended a newly built, county wide, public school for grades 8 -12. The total number of students in that school was approximately the same as the number that would attend a single, 6th grade academy. It was one of the worse concepts in the history of Loudoun County, Virginia. The mistake was quickly recognized and the school board immediately began plans to build a second school. As a student of this system, I can tell you unequivocally, it did not work for multiple reasons. Unless you were a talented athlete, you did not play on a school team and should expect to be cut early in tryouts. I saw it happen repeatedly to kids I played ball with in lower grades. I considered myself fortunate to have played on several teams. My class was so large, we did not know many of our classmates. Cliques formed and socially it became an unhealthy atmosphere for some young people. The mentality in some circles was similar to that of “gang”. The distance from my home to school more than doubled. Some students travelled even further. Seldom did we stay after school for help with academics because to get home, we rode a bus. The interaction between teachers and students dramatically decreased compared to what it had been when the schools were near our homes. I eventually elected to board away at a private school with smaller classes, more opportunity to play team sports and to have a balanced academic and athletic lifestyle. I never looked back after making my choice because my situation greatly improved.

Tim buck

March 30th, 2012
10:54 pm

To parents living on the south side of Atlanta who have kids attending any APS school, my message to you is to fix your broken schools. Reason, the schools on the North side of the city have major problems ! Our lack of balance news coverage will not cover the problems on the north side! Solution, the so call low bad schools on south side should redefine the goals of urban education by changing the rules on conduct and academics for students attending southern APS schools!
Atlanta should move past this view that buckhead schools have the answer on public education in this city ! With all the wealth and education in SW Atlanta , why should be give up on fixing our school! Atlanta, the answer is not Buckhead!

Tim buck

March 30th, 2012
11:12 pm

Buckhead is not the answer for the problems of public education in Atlanta! For those who seek the truth, if we are to believe that the good schools are on the north side of the city then by design, the bad schools must be on the south side! Parents of students attending schools out side of Buckhead should learn something from the parents within the northern schools! Ownership is missing from many of the parents who are complaining about the should of their schools! SW Atlanta become the leader of urban education step up and demand better! Why should these parents step up and address this problem , because Buckhead is not the answer to public education in this city!

Interesting

March 31st, 2012
1:11 am

I do not have a dog in this fight, but the whole concept of a one year school seems silly to me. Though the “primary centers” at Brandon, Smith, and Jackson are just as silly. It’s going to end up that students change buildings every two years rather than splitting any current schools up.

bu2

March 31st, 2012
10:30 am

@Interesting
The primary centers are also inefficient. They are likely afraid they will get in a have-not school.

The normal school size in Atlanta and Dekalb is relatively small. North Gwinnet is one of the best schools in the area and has 2700 students. Now North Gwinnet is not better because it is bigger, but the small school sizes in Atlanta certainly don’t make them better. And in high school, at a certain point, smaller high schools limit the academic options and opportunities for students, as pointed out in the AJC article today about merging the mini-high schools in South Atlanta. Its particularly bad for high achieving students in less affluent areas. There are ways to create small groups within a larger school without the inefficiency and limitations of a small high school.

I think the issues are different at the middle school level, but I attended 3 different schools, two of which had over 2,000 students and the other had 1,300. 800 students seems tiny.

frustrated APS mom

March 31st, 2012
1:26 pm

I’ll say it again – I love the primary centers. It is wonderful to have your littlest ones in a place all their own. They still get to participate in fun things on the main campus but their day to day life is contained in a smaller space that is scaled perfectly for them. Such a nice transition from preschool.

Lilly H.

March 31st, 2012
1:43 pm

@Frustrated- having problems following your reasoning-you say two middle schools are a bad idea because they’ll make one bigger and “all diverse” and the other is smaller with “affluent white kids”, but you push for an even bigger school with diluted diversity & more $. Are you sure about this? You sound to be the racially averse, selfish one. Better you’re going elsewhere. I’m signing that petition bc I’m tired of all the fear and bullying around MB and look forward to better schools for my kids, with added diversity!

frustrated APS mom

March 31st, 2012
2:01 pm

I didn’t say 2 middle schools were a bad idea. I said it was a bad idea to divide them up the way this group is pushing for. It will set one school up for failure.

Smaller is Better

March 31st, 2012
4:55 pm

Although I don’t have a dog in this fight, I certainly have fact-based data pointing to smaller school environments. Public schools across the nation have been and are already moving toward smaller schools. Furthermore, private schools have figured this out long ago. Many of them here in Atlanta have the funds, real estate and demand to grow their grade sizes and opt not to so that their students and teachers enjoy an optimal learning environment. Anyone truly looking at this objectively for the BEST INTERESTS OF THE KIDS, would not accept a mega middle school. Additionally, diverity in our schools is not simply a nice-to-have, but a MUST. Hopefully, APS and some of these irrational parents will put personal agendas aside and do what is right for the kids.

crankee-yankee

March 31st, 2012
5:58 pm

Gwinnett tried big vs. small more than 10 years ago. The theory being cost savings due to one administration, cafeteria staff, etc. Every middle school built in Gwinnett since then has been of the smaller variety. Gwinnett doesn’t do things without reason. Why do you think they are now building 2 middle schools to feed one high school?

ScienceTeacher671

March 31st, 2012
10:09 pm

Contrast the plan with Dr. Bulach’s comments about “caring behaviors.”

Do you think students are more likely to think someone cares about them at the small neighborhood school, or at the megaschool?

Cynthia Brown

April 2nd, 2012
1:58 pm

Maureen’s post, above, quotes Meet in the Middle’s position paper as saying, “after being consulted by the North Atlanta Parents for Public Schools in 2011, Dr. Mary Ariail of Georgia State University, an expert in middle school education, concluded that a creation of a 6th grade academy and a 7th-8th grade middle school was the “worst configuration available.” Dr. Ariail presented her research on various middle school configurations at our October 2011 NAPPS meeting.

NAPPS provides a forum for information and discussion of issues affecting the North Atlanta cluster of Atlanta Public Schools. NAPPS has not taken a position on the issue of middle school configuration in our cluster. As it has for over a year, NAPPS will continue to facilitate consensus on this issue and encourage all to voice their opinions in a mutually respectful manner.

We applaud the dedicated faculty, staff, and parents who have joined together to make all eight schools in our cluster the exciting learning environments they are. There is world-class education happening in APS, and anyone who doubts it should come tour our schools!

Drago

April 3rd, 2012
10:14 am

Reading the posts by parents who want mega schools, supporting huge number of students for very short time, as opposed to several smaller schools, I conclude that their arguments and opinions have nothing to do with education, and everything to do with everything else.

Small schools are the best for education, research and expirience demonstrat that. The irrational parents above, like frustrating etc., take diversity and money to be their top priority, not education, they are the selfish ones!