APS Redistricting: Anonymous Petition Moves Mary Lin to Coan

Petition aims to avoid annex and academy options

Yet another anonymous petition to redraw school attendance zones in Atlanta Public Schools surfaced on Friday.

“Petition: 10-year plan” aims to provide a ten-year Grady cluster overcrowding solution that yields “maximum results” with “minimal upheaval.”

The plan includes sending the community — students from Inman Park, Candler Park and Lake Claire — to Coan Middle School and Jackson High School.

Mary Lin students currently attend and Grady High School. Both Inman and Grady are overcrowded and projection numbers indicate little relief over the next ten years.

The anonymous proposal attemps to remove annex and academy options at all levels by redistricting Mary Lin to the Jackson cluster.

On the elementary level, the petition adds Hope-Hill to the Inman and Grady cluster, a plan that Superintendent Erroll B. Davis Jr. also had on the table in his initial recommendation. The group also suggests making Centennial Place Elementary a kindergarten-through-eighth grade campus.

Read the full details and the petition here.

What's your take on this petition? Tell us in the comments!

Are you one of the anonymous stakeholders behind the petition? Contact Patch editor Jaclyn Hirsch at Jaclyn.hirsch@patch.com.

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Intown Parent March 12, 2012 at 12:46 AM
The reasons are neither racist nor classist but "perform-ist". Mary Lin, Inman, and Grady are high performing schools and Coan and most of the proposed feeders are not. The idea that Mary Lin parents would be comfortable going to a low-performing school if the kids were onlly white is pretty nuts. Yes, there are services and unique programs at Coan; yes there are some valuable non-profit resources supporting Coan, and yes, it is STILL underutilized and many in its n'hood will not go there. There is a reason Inman is over utilized and Coan is way under-utilized and it has to do with performance and that is not going to turn around because you make some kids from a high-performing school go there.
TooBusytohate March 13, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Who is this "they" that kicked minority students out of Mary Lin? What is "extremete regentrification" and how does that differ from gentrification? I think a more accurate and less incendiary way to descirbe the prosess is that some people sold their homes/real estate and other people bought it.
Barbara Baggerman March 13, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Geographically, this proposal makes a lot of sense. Better than the annex ideas of moving kids to a new (and more distant from their neighborhoods) location every year or two. Seems to me people need to overcome their fear. If Lake Claire, Candler Park, and Inman Park kids went to Coan, the school would instantly become high-performing just by virtue of their being there. Furthermore, if they were there, the people in the Coan district who now choose to go elsewhere would be more likely to choose Coan, adding yet more high-performing kids. And if they all, along with Grant Park, went to Jackson High, Jackson would become another Grady. Everybody wins.
ESL March 13, 2012 at 11:58 PM
Gosh @ Barbara- If morningside just accepted the first options of brand spanking new middle school and went to NAHS then everything would be fine. Or how about if Kirkwood and Eastlake just accepted COAN as K-8 and then went to Jackson? Or how about Spark merger with HH ( sorry Spark but you are not getting renovation so you might have to go back to ML). Or how about if people accepted Errol Davis' newly integrated structure for Grady and worked to find another location than COAN for 6 academy ( which no one likes). Or how about if neighborhoods stop giving advice on what other neighborhoods should do which is the advice of board and superintendent. The neighborhoods of newly defined Grady boundaries will hold(Kirkwood and Eastlake need to give it up and start working on SEACS schools ) Kirkwood is the source and accomplice in all this negative neighborhood stuff. ML,MES, SPARK, HH and Centennial need to work together for Grady cluster solutions- anything else is counterproductive at this point.
Earl Williamson, RN March 14, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Kirkwood IS currently in the Grady cluster, SRT-3, and CINS. Facts from the beginning repeatedly ignored by cluster remnants north of Dekalb Avenue as they continue attempts to preserve their inefficient, wasteful, and costly status quo at the expense of the neighborhoods of East Lake, Edgewood, and Eastlake. Coan Middle School offers a cost effective and geographically well located solution to growing overcrowding at Inman Middle School. It's efficient facility management that avoids costly construction, inequitable closures, and increases use of underutilized space while decreasing the stress of greatly overcapacity space nearby. To determine the source of "all this negative neighborhood stuff" one need only take a quick tour of Big Tent.
ESL March 14, 2012 at 02:43 AM
C'mon Earl- the wasteful status quo is the 6 underutilized schools in Eastlake . Kirkwood and Edgewood area. Errol Davis is smart enough to realize that. He continues to say he wants more resources for children not buildings. You should get on Board with closing Toomer and moving schools to Coan if you want COan open. His defining Kirkwood and Easlake out of Grady makes perfect sense too and you SOD's all should get on board and start making Jackson cluster as good as it can be instead of pulling ML. Davis makes a lot of sense with the exception of Coan as location for 6 academy- nobody wants this NOD>
Barbara Baggerman March 14, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Moving M'side to NA made no geographic sense (far away); divided the M'side and Va-Hi n'hoods, which are a contiguous and cohesive community; and would add greatly to Atl's traffic woes. Conversely, moving Mary Lin to Coan and Jackson makes geographic sense; doesn't divide n'hoods; and decreases traffic problems (closer to school; fewer cars and buses crossing Ponce). We should be utilizing the schools we have, not wasting money building new ones. Everyone can't go to Inman and Grady. Nor should they. It's not in the students' interest to create huge, impersonal schools like some suburban schools; students thrive in smaller populations where they can have an identity and be known. The Grady cluster has outgrown itself and needs to be divided. The northeast n'hoods closest to Inman and Grady should stay there. There are plenty of great n'hoods on the east and southeast that could come together to replicate the success of Inman and Grady at Coan and Jackson. If they did, those schools would instantly become comparable to Inman and Grady, just by virtue of the educated, high-performing population (and APS would gain 2 more good schools). Which is precisely how Inman and Grady got to where they are today. It wasn't always thus. As recently as 5-10 yrs ago, many people were trepidatious about sending their kids there (some still are). But when the n'hoods support the schools, it works out fine; the demographics carry the schools. Overcome your fear and make it happen.
MAO March 15, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Coan is a failing school and can't even pass the bare minimum standards of No Child Left Behind. Until GA just got approval from the Federal Government to waive these standards two months ago, every child zoned for Coan was legally entitled to a transfer. As a Mary Lin parent to a 5th grader, there is no way in hell I'm sending my child to Cohn next year. Although as a parent, I'm telling you my kid is pretty great, she is nowhere near capable of turning around a FAILING school. We have many friends in Kirkwood and NOBODY sends their child to Coan. I would have no problem sending my child to Coan or Jackson if they performed as high as Inman or Grady but FAILING - NO WAY! Both me and and every other 5th grade parent will move or send our kids to private school before sending our children to a failing middle school. It simply isn't an option :)
Barbara Baggerman March 15, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Well gosh, if we'd all reacted to Inman that way back in the (not-so-long-ago) day, Inman wouldn't be succeeding either. If Lin goes to Coan, Coan will no longer be failing.
Barbara Baggerman March 15, 2012 at 06:30 PM
And if I'm not mistaken, the year before last, Grady didn't meet NCLB and every child there was entitled to transfer out. Does that mean you wouldn't send your child to Grady? NCLB is BS.
MAO March 15, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Do you also think dilution is the solution to pollution? Covering up bad test scores with some better test scores won't be helping anyone. APS needs to figure out why the 300 kids at Coan can't perform basic math before we add more kids into the mix.
Earl Williamson, RN March 15, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Mao - I'd like to thank you for adding to the tone of these discussions. You have single handedly implied that Coan Middle School children, their parents, their teachers, and their neighborhoods are somehow "pollution" and thereby unfit to mix with, something to avoid at all costs including a plan to, "move or send our kids to private school". You have acheived that great Southern use of the word "ugly" as in, "that was ugly". I believe an apology is in order.
ESL March 15, 2012 at 11:02 PM
I agree with you on that point Earl. Mao is out of line. I don't agree with the constant push on Mary Lin. As everyone knows by now Mary lin has a highly educated and motivated group of parents that don't like the solution of using COAN. What exactly do you think would happen if APS moved Mary Lin to COAN? For me personally I would turn the coordinated activism of Mary Lin Parents into pushing for another educational opportunity- either starting a charter or private school( this should be a growth industry in Atl,). APs never proposed the solution a lot of individual neighborhoods are pushing or pulling against ML interests. Davis and demographers have proven much smarter and more conscientious than the arm chair quarterbacks trying to maneuver around the process.
MAO March 16, 2012 at 01:22 AM
Sorry I simply meant by the analogy that using the test scores of higher performing kids to cover those of students who aren't learning would cover up the problem, not address it. The true problem that APS needs to address is fhow to teach all kids. Obviously, there is a systematic problem at Coan that needs to be addressed and using my kid to cover it up doesn't help anyone and actually hurts all involved. I won't partake in it and won't subject my child to it either.
LCS March 16, 2012 at 02:15 AM
Perhaps moving Lin to Jackson would be more palatable if Superintendent Davis were committed to ensuring that Jackson was indeed successful. Rather than having the entire Lin community uproot their families and leave, what if APS agreed to a "fruit basket turnover" of sorts in which half of Grady's teachers go to Jackson and half of Jackson's teachers go to Grady. Just one idea. I'm am sure that as diverse and creative as we all are, there are many other ideas to be explored.
LCS March 16, 2012 at 02:23 AM
Your flippant remark about SOD's getting on board and making Jackson better is patronizing at best. And, there are those of us who are not opposed to utilizing Coan as an annex for Inman. However, the best idea I have yet heard is to have Coan become the 7-8th grade "Jr. High" and the Inman building become the 6th grade academy. The Coan building is much larger and has sports facilities. Since 6th graders are not allowed to play APS-sponsored sports, this option seems more "logical" for the older students.
LlA March 16, 2012 at 06:56 PM
The redistricing is around the cluster model. No surprise then that Lin never moved anywhere on the map since the director for the region Dr. Bockmen is a Lin parent herself. Talk about the fox guarding the henhouse. When you have the leader making the decisions on your team, why are any of the Lin parents bothering with any of this stuff?
Greg Wilkinson March 17, 2012 at 09:47 PM
The correct solution is to not waste more tax dollars building more schools when you have perfectly good facilities currently in SRT3 that can resolve the overcrowding at both Mary Lin and Inman. Inman Park needs to be rezoned for Hope and then to feed into the Grady cluster. Overcrowding problem solved at Mary Lin without expanding and wasting money. Mary Lin then needs to be rezoned for Coan and then to feed into Grady. Problem solved at Inman without expanding ad wasting money. Both solutions make fiscal sense, use existing underutilized facilities in SRT3 and allow the current Grady cluster to be stay intact. Everyone wins in this. Why can't APS and Mary Lin parents see this? It's so easy a Coan 6th grader could figure it out.
Greg Wilkinson March 17, 2012 at 09:49 PM
And the Mary Lin parents bother because they know what they are asking for doesn't pass the red face test. They are fighting for their life, that's why. Having Dr. Bockmen in their pocket isn't enough.
ESL March 18, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Oh golly gee Greg in Woodsterville- in the land of SOD- the last drops of Koolade have been distributed and the zombies are back in action.  We have given up on wooden stakes and silver bullets and will just sit back and watch the coprophagia as you dine on the corpse of bad ideas and worse manners for slinging sh#t on other neighborhoods.
Earl Williamson, RN March 18, 2012 at 03:58 AM
Quite the contribution to adult discourse, ESL. You must of missed your turn into Big Tent. The problem is critical overcrowding at Inman Middle School, to reach a predicted 184% soon, a significant deterrent to effective learning by any kid . Part of the solution is Coan Middle School, with an estimated 600-800 spaces immediately available. No wasteful and duplicative new construction, no trailers, just a fiscally and geographically responsible solution that is apparent. No busing 300 kids away to make room for 300 other kids, denying both the opportunity to attend their own walkable neighborhhod based school. Coan is not a problem to be closed, it is a solution waiting to be implemented. We are willing to work with others to acheive that solution. I invite any NOD parents interested to tour Coan Middle School, meet it's faculty and students, and be introduced to some of it's programming including Graduation Generation, the Edible Garden, and the health clinic. Won't kill you and might improve the quality of exchanges we're having as well as getting us all to talk about more effective solutions.
Greg Wilkinson March 18, 2012 at 04:15 AM
ESL, When you have someone adult like to say and something logical to talk about instead up debunking logic let us know. Be more than happy to have that discussion with you.
I'm Just Sayin March 18, 2012 at 08:28 AM
"this is not a scientific poll". Actually this is not a poll. Anyone can vote and multiple times. Lin isn't going to Coan because APS has figured that for a facility to be cost-effective it needs to get to 80% fill. Back out the 55% of Lin kids whose parents would not send them to Coan (the refusal rate for Kirkwood residents) and Coan's occupancy goes to 50%. I don't see LC/CP/IP parents sending their kids to Jackson. Rather Lin parents will move into higher performing middle and highschools once their kids are old enough, essentially keeping those schools overfull.
Earl Williamson, RN March 18, 2012 at 12:07 PM
Interesting that you claim APS is using an 80% occupancy threshold to determine cost effectiveness when they have proven uniformly unable to provide cost data, per facility breakdowns, and fiscal evaluations of alternatives. Indeed when asked APS speakers in the last two days have stated they don't have those numbers because they pick the plan and THEN determine cost data ... after the fact. Fiscal responsibility and accountability anyone? The problem is not Coan Middle School being undercapacity, it is the failure to utilize that immediately available capacity in a fiscally responsible manner to address critical overcrowding in SRT-3. While the desire to move into specific schools is sometimes understandable that option has pretty much gone away when you are looking at 184% occupancy at Inman Middle School. The solution needs to provide immediately available capacity, it needs to be geographically and fiscally responsible, and ideally will have effective public -private partnerships in place. Coan Middle School offers efficient facility management that avoids costly construction or rehabilitation, inequitable closures, and increases use of underutilized space while correcting the negative impact on kids from critical overcrowding.
ESL March 18, 2012 at 03:38 PM
If you want to save tax dollars and save COAn then the fiscally responsible and neighborly thing to do is close Toomer - sell the land and make CoAn k-8 for the neighborhoods of Eastlake , Kirkwood and Toomer- then work within your cluster to make Jackson IB strong. The friday night chant at Coan was confusing.  We know it is march madness in college basketball but Jeremy " Send in Lin" plays pro ( wrong league folks).  This zombie option for redistricting was never alive.  It was not alive in demographers scenarios, not in neighborhood or LSC statements, nor an option by superintendent or SRT 3 director- it was never alive.  WIth the exception of one neighborhood statement- Kirkwood's.   The egregious hypocrisy of parents trying to get other neighborhoods to send children to schools they are trying to avoid sending their own children to- and trying to save schools where there are way too many is astounding.  BTW Edgewood- the Kirkwood K-8  for TOomer was designed to keep Kirkwood children out of COAN.  WHy on earth should APS listen to Earl's option (Send in Lin) that was never on the table. it takes a certain amount hubris that parents of minority race were chanting for a majority black school that they are trying to avoid.   I don't watch enogh zombie films - anyone know how to put to rest the zombie option? (wooden stakes? Silver bullets?-)
Greg Wilkinson March 18, 2012 at 04:29 PM
I'm glad you brought all of this up. Since APS has turned it's back on the schools SOD for so many years that is why we have charter schools. Well guess what, we are telling APS to make that investment and the people will come and get involved just like they did for Mary Lin years ago and just what you have seen in Toomer in recent years. If people want to move because the city wants to improve the schools and be fiscally responsible so be it. Maybe they shouldn't live intown to begin with. Move on and let people that have an interest in their surrounding communities move in.
Greg Wilkinson March 18, 2012 at 04:46 PM
ESL, Lets talk about some of what you said. No, not the sci fi stuff or the NBA but the real topic at hand. Coan one day might very well be a K-8 for this area. If APSs doesn't do the right thing and invest in these failing schools and fill them with the students to relieve the overcrowding are schools further away, it very well might happen. However, our push as tax payers is to have APS do what our tax dollars are paid to do. Provide a good education for ALL schools, not just some. This has nothing to do with one neighborhood trying to get another to be sent to a certain school. It has everything to do with equality in schools and fiscal responsibility in APS. By saving millions in building or expansion we can use the existing facilities and invest that money saved in the education of the students. The Lin issue is brought up because Lin is the closest logic school to be sent to Coan. Besides, it's much easier and closer to walk to Coan then Inman. The common sense outweighs the excuses for not wanting to do what's right for all.
ESL March 18, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Ok Greg. Let"s take zombies and basketball off the table and talk real people. What if you were a former Kirkwood or Edgewood neighborhood officer and you had a school age child. So imagine that as a neighborhood official you don't send your child to your neighborhood school. What message does that send? Now imagine that same person/ people officer starts organizing their neighborhood to lobby APS to send another neighborhoods kids to a school he does not send his kids to? The word hypocrit comes to mind as well as hubris, arrogance, self righteousness, pharisaic, snctimonius
Greg Wilkinson March 18, 2012 at 06:04 PM
ESL, Thanks for taking those items off the table and staying on topic. It's very much appreciated. You have a very good point to make and a very valid one. The residents of the communities totally understand that and we understand that. It is a tough situation to be put in. We have finally gotten Tommer up and off the ground and headed in the right direction with little or no help from APS. We know as a community that the next step is to correct the wrong at Coan. We feel that we are up for the fight just as those in other communities fought for their schools. Since Coan is a clear viable chance to not only solve a problem at Inman, by bringing in more involved parents and students that have seen the fruits of this hard labor we can make Coan a great school very fast. For the good of the entire SRT3 this is what should happen. If we continue to keep lines drawn in the sand and turn our backs on other communities that simply isn't right. That's also not life intown. Can you not see that logic?
Earl Williamson, RN March 18, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Having reviewed all my posts on this thread I can pretty comfortably say I never said Lin was an option, nor have I pushed for specific neighborhoods to go specific places. What I HAVE been saying is that Coan Middle School is a fiscally and geographically responsible solution to be utilized, not some kind of problem to be closed and disposed of. We have critical overcrowding at Inman, projected to reach 184% in the near future. We have immediately available capacity geographically proximate in the same SRT at Coan Middle School. It's an excercise in facility management that has a clear answer, shift from one overcrowded location to another nearby underutilized and cost effective location until both are at efficient capacities. Really, how much sense does it make to keep one filled way beyond capacity and close the other? Re-districting MUST be fiscally responsible (the money's not there anymore) and for once in APS history ensure equity in educational delivery ( to resolve the whole under/over performance site differentials that are APS' responsibility to begin with).


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