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ERIC Number: ED547277
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jan
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 4
Atlanta's Successful Charles R. Drew Charter School: The Cornerstone of East Lake's Community Transformation. The Abell Report. Volume 27, No.1
Eberhart, Linda; Barnes, Tara
Abell Foundation
The community of East Lake, home to Charles R. Drew Charter School (Drew), is 6 miles from downtown Atlanta. In 1995, crime in East Lake was 19 times higher than the national average. Now, violent crime is down 95 percent. In 1995, 88 percent of residents were unemployed. Now, only 5 percent receive welfare. In 1995, just 5 percent of fifth graders at Charles R. Drew Elementary School met state standards in math. Now, more than 90 percent of all students at Drew meet or exceed state standards in all subject areas. Many urban school communities face similar academic crises to the one that existed in the East Lake Community of Atlanta in 1995: dismal academic results and generations of students leaving school ill-prepared for college or a career, perpetuating a cycle of poverty. This Abell Report describes how well-planned coordinated renovation of both the community and the school initiated the break in the cycle of poverty in East Lake and at the Charles R. Drew Charter School. The simultaneous transformation of East Lake's housing stock from low-income to mixed-income and the re-making of the school made Drew an attractive option for families living outside the neighborhood. In addition, re-opening the school as a charter brought about many advantages that have led to more flexibility in resources and the ability to create a mixed-income community. The option to become a charter is not always available to schools, and alone, may not lead to successful transformation. A cadre of administrators over the years at Drew has contributed to its success by strategically using internal funds for programming and curricular choices. Outside partners and funding wrap around and touch many of the curricular decisions and programs initiated at Drew, which has sustained its success. Without these strategic partners, the impact of these programs would not be as dramatic. The cycle of poverty has been broken in the East Lake Community, with Charles R. Drew Charter School as a foothold in the success story. This transformation has received national attention as a model of success and provides lessons for other urban communities searching for best practices to break that same cycle. Additionally, this edition of the Abell Report discusses the Elmer A. Henderson: A Johns Hopkins Partnership School, also known as Henderson-Hopkins. Henderson-Hopkins is the first new Baltimore public school building in East Baltimore in more than 20 years and serves as a cornerstone for the largest redevelopment project in Baltimore: East Baltimore Development, Inc. (EBDI). Like East Lake in Atlanta, this project seeks community transformation with a unique school as its centerpiece.
Abell Foundation. 111 South Calvert Street Suite 2300, Baltimore, MD 21202. Tel: 410-545-1300; Fax: 410-539-6579; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Collected Works - Serial
Education Level: Elementary Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Abell Foundation
Identifiers - Location: Georgia; Maryland