In her “Blogging While Blue,” blog, former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin thanks outgoing APS school chief Beverly Hall for improving schools during her 12-year tenure, saying, “She leaves the school district significantly better than she found it.”
Among Franklin’s other comments:
As the imminent departure of Atlanta Public School Superintendent Beverly Hall draws near and I reflect on her 12-year tenure here, I am reminded of my early years in Atlanta. There is no question that Beverly Hall invited and embraced a broad coalition of community input and support that has greatly benefited Atlanta students. Today there are some 400 partners who support APS, that input has been significant in the progress of the district.
During Dr. Hall’s tenure as superintendent there have been notable improvements in APS. First among them is her invitation to the broader community to partner with the schools. She knew she would need the business community, parents, public officials, non-profit organizations and civic groups to tackle the challenges that the schools faced. Many contributed to the success of Atlanta’s students over the last 12 years.
· A district record $129 million in college scholarships earned by graduates in 2010, which is up from $9 million in 2000
· $160 million invested in APS by national and local philanthropic groups
· An approximate 30 point increase in district wide graduation rate
· A total of $1 billion invested in constructing and renovating state-of-the-art schools; Atlanta Public Schools has built 17 new schools and renovated more than 60 others, thanks to taxpayer support
As Beverly Hall prepares to leave, I think when she came to Atlanta she also saw the potential of what could be accomplished in a city that was committed to working together. She knew she couldn’t do it alone and she reached out to the entire community. It is also fair to say that she has seen victory and defeat. Despite the serious challenges during the last two years, in my opinion the victories far outnumber the defeats.
–From Maureen Downey,for the AJC Get Schooled blog