ATLANTA

Citywide Education Progress Report

Key Takeaways: Student and School Outcomes

School proficiency rates in math and reading improved across the city. However, progress has been uneven. Proficiency and graduation rates remain below the state average, and some high school students have had inequitable access to advanced coursework.

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Is the education system continuously improving?

► In 2014-15, the city’s graduation rate was behind the state’s.

Data: Percent of first-time 9th grade students graduating in four years, citywide and statewide.
Source: EDFacts Initiative, U.S. Department of Education, Assessment and Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rates Data, 2011-12 to 2014-15.


► Between 2011-12 and 2014-15, the math proficiency gap between the city and state was closing. In 2014-15 the city’s proficiency rate was below the state’s.

Data: The city’s estimated gains in proficiency rates across elementary and middle schools, standardized at the state level and controlling for student demographics.
Source: U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, Civil Rights Data Collection 2013-2014.


► Between 2011-12 and 2014-15, the reading proficiency gap between the city and state was closing. In 2014-15 the city’s proficiency rate was below the state’s.

Data: The city’s estimated gains in proficiency rates across elementary and middle schools, standardized at the state level and controlling for student demographics.
Source: Performance data from the Georgia Department of Education, 2011-12 to 2014-15.


Do students have access to a high-quality education?

► In 2013-14, black students were enrolled in advanced math coursework at a lower rate than the high school population.

Data: Enrollment of students in math courses above Algebra II. Rates calculated by dividing the number of students enrolled in advanced math by the number of students in the school. Sub-group rates determined at the school level.
Source: U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, CivilRights Data Collection 2013-2014.

Data & Scoring

Where did we get this data?

► Publicly available state and federal data, making our results comparable and reproducible.

► The most up-to-date data available for all 18 cities at the time of our data collection. See Methodology & Resources for more information.

What makes the data citywide?

► We include all charter and district schools within the municipal boundary of a city.

► In Houston, Indianapolis, Memphis, New Orleans, and San Antonio we use school data from multiple districts within the municipal boundary.

Background

About Atlanta

Over the past 10 years, Atlanta Public Schools faced a bruising cheating scandal and repeated school closures. The district has responded by trying to improve community-level engagement and by addressing poor school and student performance. In the 2016-17 school year, APS used a state initiative to launch a Charter System of Schools with the goal of giving district schools greater decisionmaking authority. APS is also pursuing a turnaround strategy, called “Partners,” that uses charter operators to manage low-performing district schools. New feeder patterns provide opportunities for charter and district schools to collaborate.

School Choice in the City

About a quarter of Atlanta schools have open enrollment, either as charter schools or open-enrollment district schools. However, many charter schools in the city give priority to students living near the school. Families can opt-in to any district school on a space-availability basis using an administrative transfer process.

Governance Model

The Atlanta Public School Board oversees district schools, and APS authorizes all but a handful of the city’s charter schools.

2016 District and Charter Student Body

Enrollment: 51,927 students
Race and ethnicity: 74% black, 15% white, 7% Hispanic, 3% other
Low-income: 76% free and reduced-price lunch

2017 School Composition 

Source: Enrollment data from Georgia Department of Education, 2016.
School data from researcher analysis of public records, 2016-17.

The Center on Reinventing Public Education is a research and policy analysis center at the University of Washington Bothell developing systemwide solutions for K–12 public education. Questions? Email crpe@uw.edu.