Category Archives: Atlanta Public Schools

Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2013 Education Guide Hits Newstands Today

Each year I look forward to the latest Education Guide from the Atlanta Business Chronicle to see how each school’s test scores changed from the previous year.  The scores on my blog will be updated to reflect the latest scores for all the school districts featured here, but here’s a preview of Fulton County’s High Schools ranked by SAT scores.  To receive the new edition of the Education Guide, email me at and provide a mailing address and I’ll be glad to get one in the mail to you.

Jan 23, 2013, 11:39am EST

Fulton County public high schools ranked by SAT score

Senior Online Editor- Atlanta Business Chronicle

Who tests the best in the metro?

Atlanta Business Chronicle’s annual Education Guide hits newsstands on Friday, Jan. 25, and it will certainly shed a lot of light on metro schools. But we also have some data that you will only get online. We will publish high school SAT scores by region so you can see the best and worst performers.

Today, we take a look at Fulton County public high schools:

  1. Northview High School — 1,769
  2. Johns Creek High School — 1,729
  3. Milton High School — 1,681
  4. Roswell High School – 1,677
  5. Chattahoochee High School — 1,674
  6. Alpharetta High School — 1,660
  7. Riverwood International Charter School — 1,631
  8. Centennial High School — 1,582
  9. North Springs High School — 1,459
  10. Independence High School –1,377
  11. Westlake High School — 1,316
  12. Tri-Cities High School — 1,299
  13. Creekside High School — 1,250
  14. Langston Hughes High School — 1,231
  15. Frank McClarin High School — 1,198
  16. Banneker High School — 1,160

For high schools, we show the mean scores for the SAT of the 2012 senior class. This score is calculated by using the student’s most recent test administration. The highest possible score is 2,400.

Source: Governor’s Office of Student Achievement

Click here for Atlanta’s public high schools ranked by SAT score.


Georgia Students Show Improvements in CRCT Scores

More Georgia students than ever are exceeding standards on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests.

The 2012 CRCT results show the performances of students in grades 3-8. The biggest overall gains were in Grade 5 Social Studies (six percentage points) and Grade 8 Science (seven percentage points).

“The best news in the 2012 CRCT report is that more of our students are exceeding the standards,” State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said in a statement. “Teachers are doing a great job teaching the more rigorous Georgia Performance Standards and they are to be applauded for raising expectations for all students.”

However, there were a few decreases in 2012, including Grade 3 Science (two percentage points), Grade 4 Mathematics (one percentage point), Grade 5 Mathematics (three percentage points) and Grade 8 Mathematics (one percentage point).

Percentages did not change on six of the content-area tests.

“While I am pleased to see an increase in the majority of the exams, I am concerned about those where we saw decreases or no change at all,” Dr. Barge said. “As we begin teaching the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards next school year, we know the curriculum and the tests will be more difficult, so we must continue to focus on successfully implementing the new standards.”

State law requires third, fifth and eighth grade students to meet or exceed expectations on the Reading portion of the test in order to move to the next grade. Fifth and eighth grade students must also meet or exceed expectations on the Mathematics portion.

Results for Atlanta Public Schools include:

Grade 3 Reading * 4,072 students tested * 16.2 percent did not meet the standard * 44.6 percent met the standard * 39.2 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 3 English/Language Arts * 4,080 students tested * 16.5 percent did not meet the standard * 50.6 percent met the standard * 33 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 3 Mathematics * 4,088 students tested * 32.3 percent did not meet the standard * 35.3 percent met the standard * 32.4 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 3 Science * 4,190 students tested * 35.1 percent did not meet the standard * 35.1 percent met the standard * 29.6 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 3 Social Studies * 4,179 students tested * 28.9 percent did not meet the standard * 43.9 percent met the standard * 27.2 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 4 Reading * 4,055 students tested * 16.7 percent did not meet the standard * 48.3 percent met the standard * 35 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 4 English/Language Arts * 4,047 students tested * 14.9 percent did not meet the standard * 55.5 percent met the standard * 29.6 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 4 Mathematics * 4,019 students tested * 33.3 percent did not meet the standard * 41.5 percent met the standard * 25.2 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 4 Science * 4,153 students tested * 30.2 percent did not meet the standard * 37.8 percent met the standard * 32 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 4 Social Studies * 4,150 students tested * 32.9 percent did not meet the standard * 46.4 percent met the standard * 20.7 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 5 Reading * 3,977 students tested * 14.9 percent did not meet the standard * 58.5 percent met the standard * 26.6 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 5 English/Language Arts * 3,980 students tested * 10.2 percent did not meet the standard * 56.5 percent met the standard * 31.4 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 5 Mathematics * 3,953 students tested * 28.7 percent did not meet the standard * 45.3 percent met the standard * 26.1 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 5 Science * 4,135 students tested * 33.2 percent did not meet the standard * 34.3 percent met the standard * 32.4 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 5 Social Studies * 4,132 students tested * 36.4 percent did not meet the standard * 42.6 percent met the standard * 20.9 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 6 Reading * 3,423 students tested * 7.8 percent did not meet the standard * 59.9 percent met the standard * 32.2 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 6 English/Language Arts * 3,417 students tested * 11.7 percent did not meet the standard * 64.9 percent met the standard * 23.4 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 6 Mathematics * 3,398 students tested * 34.8 percent did not meet the standard * 50.2 percent met the standard * 15 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 6 Science * 3,524 students tested * 44.7 percent did not meet the standard * 41.7 percent met the standard * 13.6 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 6 Social Studies * 3,515 students tested * 43.9 percent did not meet the standard * 29.3 percent met the standard * 26.8 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 7 Reading * 3,320 students tested * 9.8 percent did not meet the standard * 71 percent met the standard * 19.2 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 7 English/Language Arts * 3,309 students tested * 9 percent did not meet the standard * 54.4 percent met the standard * 36.6 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 7 Mathematics * 3,279 students tested * 17.9 percent did not meet the standard * 54.8 percent met the standard * 27.3 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 7 Science * 3,395 students tested * 24.8 percent did not meet the standard * 44.5 percent met the standard * 30.7 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 7 Social Studies * 3,386 students tested * 39 percent did not meet the standard * 30.6 percent met the standard * 30.4 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 8 Reading * 3,283 students tested * 7.9 percent did not meet the standard * 61.6 percent met the standard * 30.5 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 8 English/Language Arts * 3,287 students tested * 7.1 percent did not meet the standard * 62.1 percent met the standard * 30.9 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 8 Mathematics * 3,271 students tested * 40.7 percent did not meet the standard * 44 percent met the standard * 15.3 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 8 Science * 3,386 students tested * 46.2 percent did not meet the standard * 42.7 percent met the standard * 11.1 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 8 Social Studies * 3,380 students tested * 41.3 percent did not meet the standard * 39.8 percent met the standard * 18.9 percent exceeded the standard

See all the results here

Atlanta, DeKalb, and Fulton School Boards facing tough budget choices this year

Reported by Dan Whisenhunt at Reporter Newspapers

Local boards of education will be cutting costs and making do during the next budget year in an effort to deal with stagnant property values and increased expenses.

All three systems in the Reporter Newspapers area – Atlanta Public Schools, DeKalb County Public Schools and Fulton County Schools – will begin the Fiscal Year 2013 on July 1. Only one, Fulton County Schools, doesn’t plan significant cuts and can balance its $810 million budget with $20 million from its reserves with no tax increases.

Officials with each school system said lower property tax collections and increased health care costs for employees are making it hard for local school boards to balance budgets.

“It’s the economy for the most part,” Atlanta schools spokesman Keith Bromery said. “The economy has not recovered to the point where the state can fully fund education … you find school districts have to cut back in relation to what they’re getting in terms of funding from the state.”

DeKalb County Schools is considering a $760 million budget but faces a $73 million budget shortfall. The school system has nothing in its reserves and the board is being asked to consider a 2-mill increase in property taxes, meaning a $200,000 home would see taxes increase by $160 a year.

Atlanta plans a $605.2 million budget but will need to fix a $47 million budget gap. The school board is considering cutting between 285 and 475 jobs across all departments.

So how did Fulton County start the year in a better position than its neighbors? Several reasons, Fulton School officials say. District 3 Board of Education member Gail Dean said in 2010 the school board voted to cut 1,000 jobs. Also, the board recently opted not to renew the charter of Fulton Science Academy after school board members and school officials could not reach an agreement. That saved the school system $3.8 million, Dean said.

Marvin Dereef, executive director of budget services for Fulton County Schools, said the school board’s earlier actions made this year’s budget process less painful. The school plans to keep 18 percent of its operating expenses in reserves, he said.

“We made the big choices early,” Dereef said. “We saw the writing on the wall and took action significantly enough where we could weather the storm for awhile.”

DeKalb County Schools BOE members are looking for alternatives to the proposal to raise taxes, spokesman Walter Woods said. DeKalb County schools during the last few months leaped from one crisis to another. Prior to the $73 million shortfall, it faced an unanticipated $36.5 shortfall in its sales-tax funded school construction account.

The BOE found a way to move sales tax money around to cover it.

Woods said the BOE is weighing its options to deal with the latest dilemma, saying “everything is on the table.”

Woods said it’s too early to discuss whether the system will be able to replenish its reserve account.

“We have to balance the budget first and then we’ll talk about a reserve,” Woods said.

Like DeKalb, Atlanta Public Schools faced daunting challenges within the last year. The system continues to deal with the fallout from a cheating scandal that found some teachers manipulated test results to boost scores system-wide. Recently, the BOE angered many in the community with plans to close and rezone schools.

The school system in April voted to close seven schools. Bromery said “there may be some savings” as a result, but said it will mostly be a non-factor.

“It wasn’t to save money,” Bromery said of the school closures. “It was to focus more of our enrollment into a fewer number of schools. To a degree, this will be offset by the additional resources that will be placed in these schools that will see increases in enrollment.”

Bromery said there is also a planned 10 percent cut across all departments in the Atlanta Schools system, except for curriculum and instruction, which will see a 7 percent cut.

“The revenues have not kept up with spending we need to reduce that or eliminate it,” Bromery said.

Atlanta High Schools Ranked by U.S. News and World Report

U.S. News and World Report reviewed 21,776 U.S. public high schools; 77 Georgia schools made their rankings.

Of the Georgia schools ranked in 2012 for the U.S. News Best High Schools, 8 were awarded gold medals, 30 earned silver medals, and 39 received bronze medals.

To be eligible for a state ranking, a school must be awarded a national gold or silver medal.

Top Ranked GA Schools

615 12TH ST, AUGUSTA, GA 30901
10625 PARSONS RD, DULUTH, GA 30097
3737 BROCK RD, DULUTH, GA 30096

See complete Georgia High School Rankings



Latest Report on APS Redistricting

“Best schools are those with intense parent engagement. Parents that are relentless make our schools, us and our principals better,”  stated Erroll Davis at last nights meeting.

APS created a great blog to keep updated on the latest meeting regarding redistricting

Click here to search for homes by school district

Buckhead School Districts could remain in Place

Davis Plan Keeps Buckhead School Districts in Place

Construction of new E. Rivers Elementary to begin in fall 2013

By Louis Mayeux with The Buckhead Patch

Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Erroll B. Davis Jr. late Sunday night released his preliminary redistricting plan, which said “there will be no boundary changes” for elementary schools in the North Atlanta High cluster.

Along with meeting community demands that no neighborhoods be moved to different schools, Davis’ plan says that construction on a new E. Rivers Elementary will begin in the fall of 2013, also the time when the new North Atlanta High is to open on Northside Parkway. Sutton Middle School students will move to the present North Atlanta building that fall, and E. Rivers students will move to the present Sutton building for 18 months.

The plan says that the “Brandon and Garden Hills populations will be monitored, and decisions on temporary versus long-term solutions will be determined at the appropriate time.”

Davis also said that the Sutton site may eventually be “repurposed as a sixth grade academy for the cluster.”

In another issue that had drawn neighborhood opposition, Centennial Place Elementary school is not included in the North Atlanta cluster, one of 10 around the city in a proposed new system that will replace the division into four School Reform teams. Centennial Place will be in the Grady cluster.

Here is the link to Davis’ complete report, which will be received by the Atlanta Board of Education at its Monday meeting. The report is also available in the attached PDF. Maps accompanying Davis’ report will be available March 9. A public hearing on Davis’ plan will be March 12 at North Atlanta.

Search here for homes by School District


GA 400 Trail in Sarah Smith School District

This proposed trail will greatly enhance the outdoor enjoyment options in the Buckhead area running through the Sarah Smith School District neighborhoods.

The Georgia 400 Trail

The Georgia 400 Trail

A planned 5-mile multi-use path weaving its way through Buckhead will become the backbone of a new green space plan for Atlanta’s ritziest office and shopping district.

It’s also going to help Buckhead work toward ending an unflattering distinction — it has the least green space of any intown office market.

The Georgia 400 Trail, a proposed multi-use path for bicyclists, skaters, walkers and runners, will connect to parks, trails, schools and Buckhead’s business district, an amenity that Buckhead, the most suburban of the intown office markets, has lacked, its leadership says.

It’s also the most high-profile project within the overarching plan to add 106 acres of green space in coming years. The initiative is known as The Buckhead Collection, a mix of plazas, parks, trails and greenways, and street and sidewalk improvements.The Georgia 400 Trail will add 13 acres by itself, plus another 17 acres of additional parks along the trail.

The trail is in the early stages, though preliminary design just began. Livable Buckhead, an organization that focuses on sustainability, has started meeting with homeowners along the trail to discuss their concerns about the project.

It could be started by 2014.

Search for homes in the Sarah Smith School District

APS Superintendent Shows Irritation at Redistricting Responses

Superintendent tosses barbs at Buckhead neighborhoods

APS Superintendent Erroll B. Davis Jr. in an interview session with Patch editors Monday expressed irritation at Buckhead responses over the APS redistricting process. Pointing out “I am not an elected official,” he singled out the Morris Brandon community for the volume of e-mails he’s received, with the same message, “keep Brandon Brandon.” He said that when receiving 100 such form responses, he considers just one of them and doesn’t read the rest. He also showed a mix of amusement and distaste at what he said was the demanding tone of comments from across the city, particularly Virginia-Highland and Buckhead. “They snatch defeat from the jaws of victory,” he said. In response to Buckhead concerns that moving Centennial Place Elementary students would disrupt the community’s k-12 international baccalaureate framework, Davis said, “I am not persuaded by the IB argument.” He said APS has several rigorous programs, including the AP curriculum. “IB is just one path; it is not a panacea,” he said. He said that North Atlanta High, for years the only school in the Southeast with an IB program, “is not even the best performing high school in the system.” He said that distinction belongs to Carver Arts School. The new North Atlanta High is costing $70 million to build, he said, “quite a bit to spend” when the APS capital budget is $100 million. Although not specificially referencing proposals to send Centennial Place students to Buckhead middle schools and high schools, he said, “I raise my eyebrows a bit when I hear comments about ‘those children,’ and not ‘their children.’ That causes some concern.” Buckhead parents have uniformly opposed the option to move Centennial Place students from School Reform Team 3 to SRT 4, which includes Buckhead. Also, he also suggested that the proposal to rebuild E. Rivers Elementary School is not a certainty. He said he would consider redoing the school to a capacity of 750 students, but a place must be found to send students during the construction work, which could last one and a half to two years. “We’re not going to place tents on the front lawn,” he said. “Build a school at E. Rivers: We will find it if it is in fact doable,” he said. He also said “middle schools are the real issue” in the redistricting debate, as reported on Virginia-Highland Patch. Davis praised the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood for the measured tone of its responses, as noted in this article on East Atlanta Patch.

View article here and video


Top Atlanta School Districts Lead Home Sales

Good school districts lead metro area in sales

Residential Real Estate Summit    from Atlanta Business Chronicle  by Joe Rauch, Contributing Writer

Date: Friday, February 3, 2012, 6:00am EST

For the hottest neighborhoods when it comes to Atlanta real estate, look no further than the places with the best schools.

Real estate agents, builders and industry analysts said homes in the highest demand in 2011 were in the metro area’s best school districts.

Parents are looking to take advantage of depressed prices to move into better school districts before the excess supply of homes in these areas dries up.

“It used to be call white flight, but now I’d call it educational flight,” said Dan Forsman, CEO of Prudential Georgia Realty. “[Parents] want to put their kids in the best school districts. It’s all about the schools and the kids.”

Real estate agents said North Fulton, East Cobb and South Forsyth were all areas with relatively heavy demand right now, in large part because of the strength of their school systems.

And the data appears to back up the anecdotal view.

Open market sales, excluding foreclosures, were highest in Fulton County in 2011, with 5,324. Atlanta’s core county was followed by neighboring Cobb and Gwinnett counties.

Forsyth County totaled 1,514 open market sales in 2011, but had the second-highest average sales price of any of the 11 metro counties surveyed by Bridge Interactive Group LLC.

In contrast, Clayton County — with its school system’s well-chronicled struggles — posted the the third lowest number of sales with roughly 1,000 and lowest average sales price for homes in the metro region at roughly $66,000 last year.

Many view 2009-2011 as a reset for the broad expectations for Atlanta’s real estate market.

“This is our 1934. This is our baseline year,” said Mason Maynard, referring to the year during the Great Depression that saw a series of sweeping economic and political changes that affected the country for decades to come.

For some sellers, the calculus has swung over the last year from waiting for the market’s rebound to simply escaping the fatigue of the last few years, real estate agents said.

“People are tired of waiting at this point,” said Carrie Faletti, a Realtor with Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty.

Sellers are willing to get rid of a property at this point, real estate agents said, if they can find a similar bargain when they’re hunting for the replacement home.

But one logjam she notes is that homebuyers are not moving up the price chain when they buy their next home, she said.

“It’s difficult for people to move up,” she said, noting that buyers often simply stay at the same price point, given depressed prices and buyers looking for a good deal.

One motivator for the market, Faletti said, would be corporate relocation.

There were few companies moving in 2009 and 2010, she said, creating another drain on the market of both eager sellers and buyers.

Buyers, real estate agents said, still largely exist in the king of all buyers’ markets.

Agents said buyer bidding wars are largely nonexistent outside of several key Atlanta markets, with many buyers looking to buy foreclosed homes for less than $100,000 per year.

For foreclosed homes, the story varies widely depending on the location.

And when selling foreclosed homes in in-demand neighborhoods, the banks are laying out higher prices and tougher terms.

“They’re playing a little more hardball,” said Becky Vinson, a real estate agent with Realty Associates of Atlanta.

“There’s still deals, just not as many on foreclosures and short sales.”

For now, the sales market inside the city’s core appears to be much healthier than the outlying regions.

“We’re not taking much of a hit intown,” said Ben McKenzie, Realtor with Prudential Georgia Realty, who focuses primarily on intown home sales. “It’s a beauty contest and price war right now.”

But in far-flung suburbs, foreclosure sales are still seeing plummeting prices.

In Gwinnett County, for example, once a high-flying hub of Atlanta’s suburban expansion, foreclosures in 2011 were roughly half those posted in 2010, but prices for those foreclosed homes had dropped over the last two years to roughly half their 2009 values.

One area that will lag the broader housing market’s sales, agents said, are condominiums.

The large projects — concentrated in Midtown, Buckhead and other bustling intown neighborhoods — were a high-profile symbol of the construction that took place during the mid-decade housing boom.

But agents said condo sales will likely take more time to catch single-family home sales.

“There’s a number of developments in Midtown that are looking to close out” their last few units and, McKenzie said, the sellers of those units are not as concerned with price in the current market.

Even amid the sluggish sales figures, across the metro market, new-home builders are expressing signs of cautious optimism.

Chuck Fuhr, division president for Ryland Homes of Atlanta, said he projects to build about 225 homes in 2012, up from 178 in 2010.

Fuhr said his company’s new homes are able to compete with the existing pool of homes because some buyers are determined to buy a new home — whether for warranties or improved energy efficiency — over an existing home. But, he said, builders are being selective, choosing only the most in-demand neighborhoods and lots for new projects.

“Sales are moving in the right direction, as painfully slow as it might be,” McKenzie said. “But it’s tough to project what the definition of the new normal will be.”

See article here in the Atlanta Business Chronicle