City/district: Atlanta Public Schools aps statistics

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Handout 6: Benteen Elementary School

CITY/DISTRICT: Atlanta Public Schools

APS Statistics:

  • Approximately 113 schools, 89 being Title I schools, 50,009 students enrolled

  • Student race/ethnicity: 79% African American, 6% Latino, 12% Caucasian, 1% Asian, 2% Multi-racial

  • Student economic status: 76% eligible for free or reduced lunch

  • APS is in the midst of a cheating scandal where 125 teachers, principals and faculty members were accused of cheating on state test

  • APS is in the midst of a redistricting where approximately 5 out of 74 schools are scheduled to be closed next year (with two more scheduled for closure in the following two years)

  • Student performance:

    • Graduation rate = 52%

    • Black students represent 79% of APS’s total enrollment. 91% of all APS students retained in 2010-2011 were black.

    • Almost 10% of students in APS were absent 15 or more days during the 2010-2011 school year.

2011 CRCT (Georgia Criterion Reference Competency Test – Third through Eighth grade)

  • Given in all subject areas

  • 3rd graders must meet expectations (make approximated 50% or higher) on reading to go to 4th grade, 5th graders must meet on reading and math to go to 6th grade.

  • Exceeding expectations is approximately 80% correct.

  • 1% of White students did not meet standards on the 3rd grade reading test. 13% of African American students did not meet standards

  • 77% of White students exceeded on the 5th grade reading test. 17% of African American students exceeded on the 5th grade reading test.

  • 78% of White students exceeded on the 5th grade math test. 25% of African American students exceeded on the 5th grade math test.

  • 18% of 8th grade student who are economically disadvantaged exceeded expectations in reading. 52% of 8th grade students who are not economically disadvantaged exceeded expectations in reading.

2011 EOCT (End of Course Tests – High School; ACT; SAT)

  • Within APS, only 34% of African American students met/exceeded the standards on the Math I EOCT, compared to 84% of Caucasian students

  • Overall, the achievement gap between African Americans and Caucasian with APS on EOCTs was 34 percentage points

  • Caucasian students are 10 times more likely to exceed standards on the Math I EOCT than African American students

  • One out of three Latino students met/exceeded state standards

  • The achievement gap between Latino and Caucasian students was 38 percentage points

ACT (American College Testing) – college readiness benchmark is a score of 21

  • APS average ACT score: 17.2

SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) – college readiness benchmark is a score of 1550

  • APS average SAT score for African American students: 1261

  • Within APS, White students score an average of 1712, which is 451 points higher than their African American peers

Related Websites:


Cheating Scandal



Related Websites:





Summer School Community:

4 Elementary Schools will feed into our site this summer:

  • Benteen Elementary

  • D.H. Stanton Elementary

  • Dobbs Elementary

  • Thomasville Elementary

The Redistricting Challenge

According to Atlanta Public Schools—while they serve nearly 50,000 students, they have capacity for upwards of 60,000 students. This means the cost of empty classrooms in heating, cooling, and lighting is excessive. They determined that they needed to close 7 schools in Atlanta in order to be as fiscally responsible as possible.

Recent News:

  • At one point or another, all of these schools had been scheduled to shut down and combine with other schools; however, many voices for Benteen, Thomasville, and Dobbs have risen up in protest for those community schools.

  • The redistricting process has deeply influenced all of the communities we are serving this summer.


District Organization and Restructuring

Atlanta is broken up into 4 SRT’s or School Reform Teams. These are the clusters of schools that work together and managed together by Atlanta Public Schools.
Within each SRT exists a school feeder pattern. The feeder pattern, which starts next year, for our community looks as such:
School Community:

4 Elementary Schools

  • Benteen Elementary

  • D.H. Stanton

  • Dobbs

  • Thomasville Heights

2 Middle Schools:

  • King Middle School (Benteen and D.H. Stanton)

  • Long Middle School (Dobbs)

  • Price Middle School (Thomasville Heights)

I High School:

  • Maynard Jackson High School (King)

  • S. Atlanta (Long)

  • Carver (Price)



  • The historical white flight of the 1980s and 1990s that occurred in many urban areas across the country is reversing.

  • In more recent history, the housing projects around Benteen have been shut and physically torn down as part of the political moves of the past 15 years. As a result, the families in the housing units have been displaced to outer counties, specifically, Clayton County.

  • Areas of housing projects have been replaced predominantly with middle to upper middle class homes filled by urban (mainly white) professionals

  • The shifting population and changing groups have led to political shifts and moves to change the schools.

Additional Context:

  • Maynard Jackson is already 99% black and free reduced lunch. The school will be supplied with 40 million dollars worth of renovation and to turn it into an IB school. IB sounds like a great idea; however, without the resources, this may not be what the school actually needs.


South Atlanta History

  • Area was originally Native American Territory (Creek) until 1825 when the Treaty of Indian Springs was signed. The governor at that time (George Troup) began forcing the Creek from their lands and by 1827 they were all gone.

  • White settlers were able to enter a land lottery for the cost of $4.00 for 160 and 200 acre parcels of land. Most of these were working farms until the late 1800’s.

  • In the early 1900’s Atlanta Electric Light Trolley Company extended the trolley through the neighborhood. The trolley made the area more accessible to city workers and a number of Victorian style homes were built..

  • After WWI, a building boom was afoot—with most of these homes being craftsman style—with another housing boom after WWII.

  • In the 1970’s the city of Atlanta assigned neighborhood names to all of Atlanta to increase the communication between neighborhoods and to combat urbanization.

  • Much retail development has occurred in South Atlanta in the time since then.

Benteen Park, Atlanta, Georgia

  • A Neighborhood in South Atlanta—bounded on the west by Boulevard and Chosewood Park, on the North by Boulevard Heights, and on the South by Atlanta Federal Prison (Also in the Benteen Park neighborhood).

  • The neighborhood experienced a great deal of gentrification between 2000 and 2010 because of the low housing prices and the proximity to Grant Park (which has Zoo Atlanta and The Atlanta Cyclorama).

School Demographics

  • In 2011, the Benteen Elementary school population was 284 students.

  • African Americans (58.5%), Hispanic (39.5%), Caucasian (1.2%), mutli-racial (0.4%), Asian (0.4%), Caucasian

  • 98.8% of Benteen Elementary’s student population qualifies for free/reduced lunch.

2011 Benteen school progress report

  • In the 2010-2011 School Year, Benteen Elementary Ranked 845 out of 1176 Schools in Georgia. This was up nearly 100 spots from the 2009-2010 school year when they ranked 946 out of 1176 schools in Georgia

  • The student:teacher ratio is 13:1

  • In 2011 74% of students met the state’s math standards (compared to 83% of the state)

  • Benteen Elementary was implicated in the APS CRCT cheating scandal.

  • According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the former principal is accused of sharing the assessment with students before the test.

  • 43% of Benteen classrooms were flagged for potential cheating—and was it was determined that the severity of cheating at Benteen was “Severe.”

  • When the test was given again under greater scrutiny—the scores dropped by the following:

-Reading -8 Points

-English Language Arts: -4.2 Points

-Math: -9.8 Points
Additional Resources





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