Why are Clayton schools outpacing APS in success?

In 2008, the AJC editorial board warned, "There's little to cheer about right now in Clayton, where a meddling school board has put the entire school system's accreditation and the future of its students at risk for the second time in five years…If there's a glimmer of hope left in Clayton, it will take the Hubble Space Telescope to find it."

Today, the Clayton County School District has seen significant improvement, so much so it no longer has any failing schools vulnerable to state takeover. Clayton saw its three schools on last year’s takeover list improve enough to get off the list; it was the only district on the list to see all its schools removed.

Why is Clayton realizing such improvement? And why have similar strides evaded Atlanta Public Schools, which has 22 schools on the takeover-eligible list?

Both districts share a border and serve largely poor, minority students. Both overcame troubled pasts and have refocused on reform. Why are those reforms paying off more for Clayton than APS?

To learn more, go to the AJC Get Schooled blog.