Saturday, March 24, 2012
"I don't think APS has done the job it should have done in terms of educating kids"
Trust. Fairness. Passion. For some parents whose children are in Atlanta Public Schools, those three words are key to the ongoing redistricting debate. It's especially so for parents and homeowners who live the neighborhoods affected by proposed closures and rezoning of students. APS is looking to reduce excess capacity in a 60,000-seat district that only has 47,000 students. Admittedly, redistricting is a process that raises concerns and fears about what the final outcome will look like. In recent weeks, parents from some neighborhoods have questioned the process and whether they could trust that their concerns and ideas would be fairly heard and evaluated. Others, particularly those who live in the Coan Middle School attendance zone, …
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Superintendent addresses questions ranging from why blame parents for failing schools to overhead at APS' central office to perceived neglect of Southeast Atlanta.
Marking his third of four public engagements since releasing his preliminary redistricting plan, Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Erroll B. Davis Jr. met with hundreds of parents, students and teachers in the Jackson and Grady high schools clusters Wednesday night. Davis answered scores of questions from the audience during a marathon 4-hour-plus meeting at Jackson High School, the last 30 minutes of which was held in the dark after a transformer malfunctioned. Though Jackson and Grady draw from neighborhoods Southeast and Northeast Atlanta, respectively, the bulk of questions came from supporters of Coan Middle School in Edgewood, one of 13 Davis is recommending for closure. Under Davis' plan, the closures — which also include …
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Coan's closure is still an option, though.
The controversial plan to convert Coan Middle School into a sixth grade academy for Inman Middle School is dead, Atlanta Public Schools officials said Friday. "It's not happening at all," Betsy Bockman, APS' executive director of the cluster of schools that include Coan, told East Atlanta Patch. But the plan to close Coan as APS seeks to reduce the number of number of empty seats in the district and relieve overcrowding is still in the mix. The plan for Coan, developed by APS Superintendent Erroll B. Davis Jr. and publicly released March 4, calls for its closure and 12 other schools. Davis recommended the closure because Coan — Georgia's first established middle school — has room for 900 students but only has 319 enrolled pupils. Of that …
Friday, March 16, 2012
Parents and Coan supporters voice their concerns on Davis' proposal for the middle school.
East Atlanta Patch is doing a Live Blog on the Coan Middle School community meeting with Atlanta Public Schools officials to discuss Superintendent Erroll B. Davis Jr.'s proposal that calls for the closure of 13 schools, including Coan Middle, the school that serves Edgewood, East Lake, Kirkwood and East Atlanta. Davis, who released his plan March 4, recommended the kids zoned for Coan should be rezoned to attend King Middle School in Grant Park. Coan would then be converted to a sixth grade academy to serve the Inman Middle School in Virginia-Highland. Coan parents and students vehemently oppose that idea.
Committee's counter-proposals: Either add Mary Lin Elementary as a feeder to Coan or create a sixth grade academy that's open to all in School Reform Team 3.
Friday, March 16, 2012
Editor's note: The Save Coan Parent Committee, comprised of Coan Middle School parents and supporters, sent this letter, dated March 13, to the Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Erroll B. Davis Jr. in response to his redistricting proposal. The Committee shared its letter with East Atlanta Patch. Dear Superintendent Davis: We want to take this opportunity to share with you the preliminary data we attribute, in part, to the wonderful, successful and student-centered programs here at Coan Middle School. Our data indicates positive progress in three areas. From October 2011 through February 2012 discipline referrals have decreased 10%, absences have decreased by 17% and writing assessments scores improved by 4%. This is only the beginning…
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
'It is our hope that you will reconsider your decision to close Coan Middle School.'
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Editor's note: Emory University, which has deep ties to Coan Middle School sent this letter, dated March 12, advocating against its closure to Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Erroll B. Davis Jr. The University shared its letter with East Atlanta Patch. Dear Superintendent Davis, We have some concerns, noted below, about your recommendation released last week that listed Coan Middle School as one of the schools that Atlanta Public Schools would close as part of its school redistricting. It is our hope that you will reconsider your decision to close Coan Middle School and that you or your representative would be available to meet with us and officials of the Zeist Foundation, Families First, the H.J. Russell and Company, and Pastor …
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Why Coan Middle School is important.
Geographically speaking, East Lake is the easternmost community in the collection of neighborhoods that comprise what is the city of Atlanta. But in the current redistricting debate engulfing Atlanta Public Schools, East Lakers feel their community is a metaphorical golf ball, being whacked here and there much like the ones hit by golfers in the East Lake Golf Club. Seven plans have been presented as possible options to the 47,000-student-district's goal of reducing the number of excess seats. But with a total capacity of 60,000 seats, APS has too much excess. The most recent plan, released last week by APS Superintendent Erroll B. Davis Jr., reduces excess by 7,200 seats through closing 13 schools for a projected cost savings of $6.5 …
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Closure of school would create hardships for children, their families and communities.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Editor's note: Parents and supporters from the Edgewood, Kirkwood and East Lake communities rallied March 10 in opposition to a proposal by Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Erroll B. Davis Jr. that calls for the closure of Coan Middle School. Located in the Edgewood neighborhood, Coan, the first middle school established in Georgia when the state adopted the concept, serves the Edgewood, Kirkwood, East Lake and East Atlanta communities. What follows is a statement from Save Coan Middle School, an organization formed to keep the school from closing. Just before midnight on Sunday, March 4, 2012 Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Erroll B. Davis Jr. released his much-anticipated rezoning proposal. The middle class and working class …
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Coan supporters plan March 10 rally to keep middle school off closure list.
Kirkwood, Edgewood and East Lake residents plan to rally Saturday at Coan Middle School in the hopes of keeping it off the closure list. The rally is scheduled to take place from 9:45 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in front of the school at 1550 Hosea L. Williams Drive. It follows Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Erroll B. Davis Jr.'s recommendation that Coan close and its students be rezoned to King Middle School several miles away in Grant Park. Both Coan and King are underutilized. Davis also recommends converting Coan into a sixth-grade academy to relieve overcrowding at Inman Middle in Virginia-Highland. Coan parents, who say it's unfair to relieve Inman's overcrowding at their kids' expense, vehemently oppose the idea. Some Inman Middle …
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
'We are being pushed out of our own neighborhood school.'
At the Atlanta Board of Education meeting Monday night, a parade of parents from the Kirkwood and Edgewood neighborhoods had one question: Why close their middle school, Coan, only to hand it over to the students of another community not even in the cluster? The parents were reacting to Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Erroll B. Davis Jr.'s redistricting recommendations that call for the closure of 13 schools. Davis' proposal, released late Sunday night, would reduce the number of excess seats by 7,200. APS has 47,000 students, but a 60,000-student capacity. It follows a series of proposed rezonings submitted the district's outside consulting firm. That schools would close as the district seeks to reduce costs and the number of empty …