1. Khaatim Sherrer El announced his resignation in the continuing fallout from a cheating scandal that has overwhelmed Atlanta Public Schools. “I just concluded in the end it just shouldn’t be this hard to do the right things for kids,” El said, his voice wavering with emotion as he fought back tears. “I failed to protect thousands of children who come from homes like mine. It remains to be seen, no matter how deep this thing goes, whether the soul of Atlanta has been stirred.”
2. The four removed from area superintendent jobs — Sharon Davis-Williams, Michael Pitts, Robin Hall and Tamara Cotman – were implicated in the scandal. Davis did not say whether they will remain with the district.
3. Davis also said that two year-round elementary schools named in a state investigative report made public last week will receive new principals before classes start Wednesday. Keisha Gibbons, former assistant principal at Centennial Place Elementary School, was named principal of Boyd Elementary; she replaces Emalyn Foreman. The new principal for Hutchinson Elementary will be named Tuesday, Davis said.
WABE radio reported early today that all APS school reform team executive directors had been placed on administrative leave. However, I called APS spokesman Keith Bromery about the report, and he told me the school board has only just gone into executive session and that he was unaware that such an action had been taken.
UPDATE: The report was later carried by TV, including Channel 2 Action News,which reported that the four declined the chance to resign and want public hearings on their cases. WSB-TV says the four — TAMARA COTMAN, ROBIN HALL, SHARON DAVIS-WILLIAMS AND MICHAEL PITTS — are represented by attorney George Lawson. Lawson told the TV station that the school leaders were told resign or be fired.
They chose termination.
In the meantime, Channel 2 Action News also has footage of former APS school chief Beverly Hall in Hawaii. She doesn’t say much to the TV reporter and looks fatigued.
In addition, the AJC is reporting that Hall may lose her Superintendent of the Year title, awarded to her in 2009 by the American Association of School Administrators.
UPDATE at 6:20: Fox 5 is reporting that the four school reform team executive directors have been recommended for termination by the new school chief Erroll Davis, along with Rebecca Dashiell-Mitchell, principal at Hutchinson Elementary, and Emalyn Foreman, principal at Boyd Elementary School.
The School Resource Team reports directly to the superintendent, and the county is divided into four geographic areas comprised of elementary or middle schools. Each area has an SRT. Those SRTs are:
SRT 1 – Dr. Sharon Davis-Williams
SRT 2 – Michael Pitts
SRT 3 – Robin Hall
SRT 4 – Tamara Cotman
Sources tell FOX 5 the following new appointments will be made for those positions:
SRT 1 – Donnell Underdue
SRT 2 – Danielle Battle
SRT 3 – Betsy Bockman
SRT 4 – David White
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog