Buzz: Thomas out to close A.A. Dixon

The word from the Pace Boulevard Palace (Escambia Co. School Administration office) is Superintendent Malcolm Thomas has made up his mind about closing the A.A. Dixon Charter School. Even though Thomas and School Board have given the board 30 days to come back with an improvement, the decision has been made. The school has new board of directors. A principal has been hired from Chicago and she has moved her family here.

What Thomas may do is announce at the next board meeting that he is putting the school on 90-days probation. Such an announcement will cause parents to withdraw their children from the school–hastening the school’s demise.

The children who enrolled in A.A. Dixon last year came to the school reading several levels below their grade level. The School District withheld their Title I funds, according to school officials, until the end of the second semester and further strapped the operations. Judging the school on its first year of operation isn’t fair and Thomas knows it.

Next on the chopping block is Lincoln Park Elementary School — the fourth African-American neighborhood school to be closed in two years (five if you count A.A. Dixon).

The School District is withdrawing from the black neighborhoods, leaving abandoned schools (Brownsville Middle) in its wake that further drag down the neighborhoods. The test scores show the African-American students are falling further behind – graduation, reading and math.