All the open seats at the Academy for Classical Education were gone by the
time Sammy Smith’s daughters’ names were pulled in the school’s
admissions lottery. By then it was all about the waiting list for the parents
still hanging around the ACE cafeteria on a day in February. “They’re at
Springdale now, which is decent,” Smith said of his daughters. “We just
prefer the classical education.” Actually, Springdale Elementary
outperforms ACE academically, but about half of Bibb County’s other
elementary schools are considered failing by the state. By the time it got to
waiting lists, it was hard to find parents from those schools in the room.
ACE principal and co-founder Laura Perkins dropped in to watch the lottery.
One school of thought holds that charter schools should be for students from
struggling schools first and foremost. Perkins said she couldn’t make that
happen if she wanted to. “We don’t have any control over that,” Perkins
said. “T he charter rules don't allow you to do any