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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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).
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: