APS school chief Erroll Davis is not recommending that APS approve the addition of a high school at the Charles R. Drew Charter school.
Drew is an APS charter school in Atlanta’s East Lake community. (It connects with the East Lake Family YMCA.)
The news has disappointed Drew parents, some of whom saw their children zoned out of Grady High School — just ranked among the state’s best high schools by US News — to the less successful Jackson High. One reason those parents did not fight the reassignment was that they were expecting the charter school to add the high school. So, this news is bound to upset them.
I asked APS for a statement from Davis, who responded: “I am not supporting Charles R. Drew Charter School’s request to amend their charter to add high school grades at this time, because there is already an over supply of empty seats in the area for 9th through 12th grade students. From a strategic standpoint, we have committed approximately $40 million to renovating Maynard Jackson High School, along with academic enhancements and new leadership. Six of the district’s 14 charter schools are already located in the area. Thus expanding the number of student seats in the same area at a time when we are embarking on a workforce reduction in the face of vacant student stations doesn’t coincide with the district’s strategic direction for that area.”
Opened in 2000, Drew was the city’s first charter school. It remains one of Atlanta’s most successful charters and probably the one with the greatest corporate support. Drew now serves 850 students ages 3 to eighth grade.
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog