School board seeks review of central Atlanta education

Atlanta’s school board has agreed to start a conversation about improving education in the central part of the city after dozens of parents and students protested the pending closure of Kennedy Middle School.

The board on Monday unanimously approved a review of education in the Washington Cluster, where Brown Middle and Kennedy Middle feed into Washington High.

The board didn’t suggest it would change course on plans set during a redistricting process two years ago to turn Kennedy Middle into a career academy next school year. Kennedy Middle has 59 students left, and they will move to Brown Middle.

“We have to have a larger conversation,” said board Chairman Courtney English. “Washington is a special place. Its history is woven into the history of this city.”

Superintendent Erroll Davis said he wanted to focus on improving the quality of education at Brown Middle rather than consider keeping Kennedy Middle open.

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“I certainly am never in opposition to having discussions with the community,” Davis said at Monday’s board meeting. “I do not think, however, that we should give people going into these discussions an expectation of an outcome. We really heard tonight more about keeping Kennedy open then we did about middle grades education in that cluster.”

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