Gov. Deal: Confident that APS will get it together and keep accreditation

Gov. Nathan Deal issued a statement of support in response to the state Board of Education’s unanimous decision this morning to give the Atlanta Public Schools board until November to regain full accreditation,  which means the APS  members keep their jobs for the time being.

“I agree with the Board of Education’s decision to give APS and its new leadership additional time to show progress. I’m confident that all involved are working actively to promote the needs of Atlanta’s children and to keep the system’s accreditation in place,” said Deal.

According to the AJC: Lawyers for both the state education department and the district announced they had come to agreement on conditions that would become legally binding if approved. The main condition of the agreement suspends the hearing until Nov. 4. That date follows a Sept. 30 deadline set by the district’s accrediting agency.

–from Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

41 comments Add your comment


July 26th, 2011
2:49 pm

If the APS is able to pull this off it will be only because outside influences have demanded certain things. APS on their own would certainly flounder.

Nonetheless, at some point all involved at APS should be terminated.


July 26th, 2011
2:57 pm

I guess it is “the American Way.” If someone keeps screwing up, give them another chance until they retire or get voted out. Unfortunately, most Americans have short attention spans and will forget this fiasco when it is time to vote just like they do every year. I am just glad my children are not part of the APS. Although the Cobb BOE is not really any better with the members going against the wishes of the people by changing the calendar.


July 26th, 2011
3:00 pm

Leaving everything virtually the same and expecting different results is the definition of …


July 26th, 2011
4:15 pm

APS is a joke and so is the school board. This will be fun to see all the self serving actually sweat for their jobs.

Fooled us once, shame on you. Fooled us twice, shame on Deal and the state board of NO education

A Conservative Voice

July 26th, 2011
4:27 pm

Gov. Deal: Confident that APS will get it together and keep accreditation

Well of course they’ll keep their accreditation…’s already been worked out with SACS. Folks, this is just political correctness and politics talking……BULL, Deal……these people are inept, you know it, I know it, everybody knows it… ‘em and quit fooling around man!!!!!!!They’ve done enough damage.

Glenn Dowell, Ed.D.

July 26th, 2011
4:55 pm


It was exactly 30 years ago that a 22-month killing spree left 29 black young men dead in Atlanta. The murders of young African-Americans nearly devastated the City. This assault on our community was covered by the world broadcast and print media. The murderer: a young African-American male. The identity of the murderer shocked blacks in Atlanta. To this date, many believe that the convicted murderer is innocent and that the murders were committed by racialist groups like the Ku Klux Klan or other groups who hated blacks and Jews.

Alliances were formed across racial boundaries, ministers from various denominations prayed together, and short-term solutions to ensure that our children would always be safe were put in place. Atlanta was able to rebound with a promise to never allow such an attack on our youth to occur again.

Now comes Beverly Hall, who some are alleging to be the architect of the greatest crisis in the history of organized educational systems in this country or in any other country. Once again, Atlanta is positioned to have its image and reputation tarnished and featured in the major media around the world.

Some of Hall’s apologists are already lined up to defend her in the face of the cheating allegations. From a former Mayor to an activist minister, it is believed that conceivably, Hall was unaware of the cheating that took place during her administration. Some are aligning their defense of Hall to the belief that African-American students are just as smart as white students. In fact, even a Desoto, Texas school Board member recently stated to me that the information he received from sources in Atlanta was that the investigation of the school system was racially motivated. Desoto, Texas is where Hall’s second in command, Kathy Augustine, landed a job as superintendent.

Another Desoto Board member was concerned that their board was not provided all of the information essential for employing a district leader. Augustine tried to distance herself from the cheating scandal, especially her potential involvement.


The cheating scandal is not a racial issue, except that the parties involved happen to be black. If the allegations are found to be true, the perpetrators will be responsible for casting a cloud over the vision that one of Atlanta greatest residents, the Reverend, M. L. King had for our youth, a day “when our children will be judged by the content of their character, rather than by the color of their skin.” The deceased civil-rights leader would be appalled at anyone who would manipulate the academic achievement of our youth in order to empower them to be successful in the future.

New Wine in Old Wineskin

The interim Atlanta Public School superintendent, Erroll Davis, must keep his word and be aggressive in ferreting out the perpetrators who were a part of the cheating scandal. He is off to a good start by dismantling all of Hall’s former cabinet members and executives.

Discussions should be held with the Governor immediately to determine if the actions of the board members under Hall’s administration warrant their removal. From my perspective the board members by not exercising their fiduciary responsibilities in firing or reining Hall in could be perceived by some as being her co-conspirators. The board members continuing to serve begs the questions: Are they concerned about the children, and can they genuinely work together to chart a direction for our children that will ensure minimum harm to them due to the cheating scandal?

We must remember the bickering among this board. There were four members who were sycophants of Hall and five who knew that they must abandon ship because of what would come out of an investigation of Hall’s administration.

Davis should not be dissuaded from disciplining staff involved in the scandal. All of the staff, regrettably, involved in the actual cheating should be terminated from the school district. A correlation for them would be: can students use as a rationale for having committed a crime that they were forced to by accomplices, and therefore, should not be punished? I think not.

The new superintendent should be cautious in developing essential future relationships with the Chamber and Business community. When the Chamber became an apologist for Hall, it lost its credibility as a impartial support system to the school district. For those in the community who see the cheating scandal as racism on the part of majority white business, Hall was their guarantee that schools on the south side of the city would be improved substantially and be attractive enough for blacks not want to attend schools in the majority white areas. Whether true or not, the school system’s relationship with the Chamber has to be completely renegotiated in order to regain the faith and confidence of the public.

The Atlanta School System is clearly in trouble. The anger and frustration at the schools’ administrators and board members is so pervasive that it has metastasized into all segments of our community. As such, a major task for the interim superintendent is to meet as soon as possible with community-stakeholders which will include educators, business leaders, mental health professionals, media entities, and parents to determine what is to be done that can positively impact the students affected by the cheating scandal. Davis must come up with new and innovative ideas, not worn out approaches to solve problems of this magnitude that are quick fixes.

The previous administration leaves a trail of malaise that will require Atlanta to attempt to rise from the destruction not caused by fire this time, but by selfish individuals who may cause children to have their dreams deferred.

The solution to these problems is not to pour wine in old wineskin. To do so is to postpone an even greater crisis involving the future of our children.


Say What

July 26th, 2011
4:57 pm

Everyone needs to take their seat and get over it. APS will not loose accrediation because they have HIRED Brock and Clay. Brock and Clay is part of SACS and the Chamber of Commerce. That is the Law Firm every school board around Georgia will use when it come to their Accrediation. Brock and Clay
will tell APS who they will have for a Superintendent and they will constantly make sure the money stays in the power brokers hand. When they start looking and revamping contracts they will see. People its all about the money. They do not care about your Children. The Board may care about the Children to a degree but all SACS, Brock and Clay, and the Chamber of Commerce care about is the Dollar Bill. So, as long as the Board do not mess with the contract process they will keep Accrediation. Contracts vs Accrediation. They keep the Contracts going as they are going and giving the Chamber what they want and they will keep their Accrediation. It is what it is. So, let’s keep praying and doing what we can for the children. Continue to follow the money (contracts)


July 26th, 2011
5:00 pm

How much additional time? In November, when all of this is still dragging on, will it be extended again? Like the continued postponing of the BRC investigation results (how long does it take to write, “Nah, nothing there, keep moving?”) the state gives chance after chance to these renegades as they continued gathering in the money.

BTW, what does the Texas school system say about K Augustine?

Go Panthers!

July 26th, 2011
7:03 pm

@ FBT -

RESIGN THE NINE (minus 1)!

(Btw – @Glenn Dowell, Ed.D. – A little extremist for my tastes, but your assessment is definitely food for thought. Interesting share.)

Glenn Dowell, Ed.D.

July 26th, 2011
7:12 pm

@Go Panthers

Is it because I left the (s) off of Board Member (s)? Just Having fun.

On a serious note, the entire board must be removed especially the new board chair. I have warned Davis’ office that should he should not align himself with any of the board members. HIs focus should be on what is in the best interest of the children.

Glenn Dowell, Ed.D.

July 26th, 2011
7:15 pm

Something is going on wrong with respect to my posting comments. I will try again.

I have warned Davis’ office that he should not align himself with any of the board members. His focus should be on what is good for the children.

Steve Perry on CNN says

July 26th, 2011
7:53 pm

While we emphasize the “ the best interest of the students”, are we to also consider the best interest of the teachers?

Should we be concerned it is “….not in the best interest” of the teachers to have be furloughed and work without pay?

A friends tells me while Dekalb School has a furlough day on Monday, he is obligated to come welcome new teachers on Friday ( Friday not being a day of work).

Doris M

July 26th, 2011
8:43 pm

Glenn Dowell you hit the nail on the head!!

Dr. John Trotter

July 26th, 2011
8:48 pm

By the way, why do school boards put up with the SACS hypocrisy? The Georgia Accrediting Commission (GAC) has been around since 1903. It is led by the venerable Dr. Carvin L. Brown. He has gravitas. Elgart? Phony as a three dollar bill, in my opinion. GAC qualifies for the HOPE Scholarship as well. GAC is headquartered out of Athens, Georgia. SACS, under the dubious “leadership” of Mark Elgart, has worn out its welcome here in Georgia. Dr. Dowell; Enjoyed reading your post! Are you suggesting a Stockholm Syndrome? Patti Hearst comes to mind. Gotta to run! You guys have fun!

Did you, by the way, communicate with the folks in Desoto, Texas?

I still want to know if Mr. Davis and the school board will violate the due process law. Ha! They will… OCGA 20-2-940(g). This provision of due process will be trampled upon. How can I respect the Erroll Davis Administration when I know that it too will continue to violate the rights of teachers. I still smell the Big Boys from the Atlanta Business Roundtable running the show.

Now, I ask this again…How is it that the Cobb County Board of Education can fight like the Hatfields and McCoys and engage in 57 illegal meetings and NOTHING happens from SACS. Mark Elgart? Glenn Brock? Nathan Deal? Surely Ain’t Committed to Standards (SACS).

Publix and Atlanta Fitness are harkening. Gotta run! Heedabeedahoohoo!

say what?

July 26th, 2011
8:57 pm

Dr. Dowdell your assessment is correct.

I am curious as to what the Govenor has negotiated so that he can guarantee that the BOE will act better? Is he forcing the COC and business community to leave APS alone, and to stay out of the running of APS? The business community has micromanaged APS into oblivion.

@Steve- DCSS 10 and 11 month staff are furloughed on Monday.

Steve Perry on CNN says

July 26th, 2011
9:04 pm

What? What happened to no furlough-Deal?

Steve Perry on CNN says

July 26th, 2011
9:21 pm

Oh——–the teachers come to work a week before they start getting paid so they can get the work they need to get done on the furlough day. But when the firing starts, they are the first to go!!

APS Parent #2

July 26th, 2011
9:30 pm

@Glenn Dowell & @Conservative Voice – you both are right.

Burroughston Broch

July 26th, 2011
9:40 pm

We will see Gov. Deal’s colors after September 30. If the fix is in, as others have posted, then most everything will be sweetness and light when SACS speaks on September 30 and the fiasco dies quietly. If the fix is not in, then the Gov. gets the hot potato.

As far as the DeSoto ISD in Texas and Kathy Augustine, what do you expect? The district is 74% black and 6 of the 7 Board members are black. The Board Chair graduated from high school in 2006 and just finished his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science (no kidding – you cannot dream up this sort of stuff). I couldn’t determine whether he has a job other than as Board Chair. The Board obviously knows they have made a mistake but they don’t have the courage to admit it. They seem like little kids who have badgered Mom and Dad for a puppy, but ignore the mess the puppy has made in the corner because they would have to clean it up.

Sharon Pitts must Go

July 26th, 2011
10:13 pm

Trotter Challenge…who do you like that is under 50?????? Can you really think that everyone in APS is evil??????

Stupid comments for a stupid response

July 26th, 2011
10:28 pm

All white folks are trying to do is get a city back that they abandon and we made great. Deal is a racist pig that cares nothing about black children stop pretending that any of you are concerned about these black children because you don’t.

Dr. John Trotter

July 26th, 2011
11:07 pm

@ Sharon Pitts must Go: Wow. It is amazing how people read into things that they want to read into them. Have I ever said anyone must go in APS besides Beverly Hall — and a few booger-eatin’ principals? Can you cite the date and time where I called for anyone at the Taj Mahal in Atlanta to go besides Beverly Hall? I criticize Mark Elgart. I think that he is a phony — someone who is a stooge for the Big Mules of the Business Community. His does not equitably apply SACS’s so-called standards. He applies them most capriciously and arbitrarily. I said on many occasions that Crawford Lewis must go. I also have no respect for Josie Alexander, the lawyer in DeKalb who does a lot of work for the DeKalb School System. I am very critical of Glenn Brock as well. I think that he is a good businessman who has parlayed his firm as some type of experts on school law, but I think that his firm gives unwholesome advice to the school systems, based on the directions taken by the school systems. (I also think that his “choices” for superintendents are atrocious.) Oh yeah, Michelle Rhee and Arne Duncan…I don’t think either one of them know their butts from deep centerfield when it comes to the public schooling process. One more for the road…Rod Paige…another of these hypocritical educational “superstars.” Ha!

There are many, many good, dedicated teachers in the Atlanta Public Schools. Unfortunately, most of the principals are the same sycophants whom Beverly Hall appointed. I am sorry that the truth may offend you. How did I do on this challenge? I am hungry now and am about to watch the movie, “Who Killed the Electric Car?” May eat some fresh blueberries with non-pasteurized yogurt and even sip on some Jim Beam (to thin my blood, of course). Life is good, and God is good all the time, right? I don’t say this facetiously or mockingly. I tell people all the time that I am just happy with my lot in life. I am thankful. I try to have an attitude of gratitude. There was a time when the Big Mules tried to destroy me, but I’m just one of God’s crazy reprobates. God does use crazy morons like me. Other folks are too trepidatious (hmm, I like this word) because they worry about criticisms and about their image. I love being a free man.


July 26th, 2011
11:47 pm

This is my comment of the day to all of this – WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Augusta

July 26th, 2011
11:48 pm

Dr. John,

Hope you got your workout in. You’ll need all your strength to deal with the messes in several of the metro school systems.

Continue your nutritious diet, too. But replace that JB with balsamic vinegar mixed with the ice remaining from a serving of a glass of GA sweet tea to provide yourself a tasty, non-alcoholic blood-thinning.

Let’s do lunch(my treat) and I’ll demonstrate my answer to Lipitor.


July 27th, 2011
12:52 am

The board should go!! I do not understand why APS will continue to hire new administrators from within the school system. If they are serious about changing the culture, it is imperative that they bring new people in. The current hiring process is the same, “Who do you know”. I am sure there are a lot of unemployed teachers in the Metro area willing to work at APS.

Chris Murphy, Atlanta, GA

July 27th, 2011
1:16 am

John Suggs at Creative Loafing wrote in a blog piece last week that the central office at APS has over 1,000 workers being paid over $100,000 per year- anyone know if that’s true? Maureen, anybody? I know APS has the highest administrative costs per capita, but I’ve never seen that figure anywhere else.

Dr. John Trotter

July 27th, 2011
1:20 am

Dr. Craig: I do the balsamic vinegar but I have yet to mix it with ice tea! Ha! I cook with lots of extra virgin olive oil and brown vinegar. I just love that char-barreled taste of JB…with Diet Rite Cola or Diet Pepsi. Never made it to work out tonight. Will do that tomorrow. Would love to sit down for lunch with you.

I don’t like taking medicine. I take about 40 to 50 vitamins, minerals, and herbs per day, including Red Yeast Rice and Niacin instead of Lipitor. I went to the doctor today. My blood pressure was great, thank the good Lord! People say that I cause others to have high blood pressure but my seems OK. Ha! Over 25 years ago, I was right in the middle of a controversial storm (I was being non-renewed as an administrator, despite the protestations of many students, parents and teachers). A teacher brought to school something that looked like a credit card. You were supposed to pressed down on this card with your thumb. Nearly everyone’s thumb prints turned up a red or black color, indicating high stress. Although I was right in the middle of this controversy, my imprint turned sky blue, indicating no stress. Ha! I can’t go into any details about this situation since I signed a settlement. But, this event was covered constantly in the print media of several papers, television, and the radio. But, I just seem to have the gift of not stressing often. It is a gift, I believe, from the good Lord. For real. But, my sweet mother always said: “I’m afraid that you’re going to end up dead in a ditch.” Ha!

My Alston ancestors were known as “the Dueling Alstons.” I must say that I am glad that dueling has seen its heyday. The last of the Alstons to be killed by a gun was my great, great grandfather, Representative Robert A. Alston, who was killed in the Georgia Capitol on March 11, 1879. Governor Perdue had his portrait hanging in the Parlor of the Governor’s Mansion. I’m not sure if Governor Deal has up the same portraits or not. I hope so. Henry Grady wrote in the Atlanta Daily Constitution that when Alston was about receive the fatal bullet to his temple, he turned and faced his assailant with a smile on his face. Col. Alston was one bad dude. My grandfather and uncle were named after him. I named my oldest son after him as well, Robert Augustus Alston Trotter. My father also inherited this “no stress” personality. We don’t tend to be intimidated nor do we stress easily. Stress can be a real killer. This is why I get so p_ssed when I see teachers being stressed out by the unconscionable actions of ruthless and cold-blooded administrators.


July 27th, 2011
2:29 am


Dr. Craig Spinks/ Augusta

July 27th, 2011
2:49 am

Dr. John,

Give me a time and place for lunch (my treat) and I’ll be there.


July 27th, 2011
11:12 am

@Chris Murphy – I do know that in APS Finance, the CFO, Deputy CFO, Controller, Accounting Manager, Grants Manager, Director of Disbursements & “The Glorified Secretary” salaries total approximately $875,000.00/Year. Superintendent Davis needs to terminate all of these folks and restructure Finance. I don’t understand why you need a CFO, Deputy CFO & a Controller. Why does Finance need TWO Accounting Managers and a Grants Manager? Hell, how many organizations have a “Glorified Secretary” on staff with an annual salary in excess of $100,000.00? Someone really needs to explain to me and the other taxpayers why we need a Director of Disbursements?

Mr. Davis, if you’re reading this blog, you need to demonstrate to all of us that you mean business. Why is CFO Chuck Burbridge, Sharon Pitts and Keith Bromery still on APS payroll?

@ chilly willy

July 27th, 2011
11:43 am

I teach in APS and the principals were recently briefed that the district has an 80 MILLION DOLLAR deficit! That’s 80 MILLION!!! I’de say many employees in Finance/Accounting need to go!

@ chilly willy

July 27th, 2011
11:44 am


July 27th, 2011
11:59 am

Mr. Davis you have a slew of folks that are Hall leftovers that need to go sooner than later:

CLL Building:
Keith Bromery
Chuck Burbridge
Sharron Pitts
Susan Dyer
Jeffery Thomas
Cystal Lottig
Aaron Fernander
Constance Goodson
Mikal Hart
Raymond Hart

High School Office

Abigail Crawford
Lester McKee

Bloggers in the know please add anymore that you know to warn Mr. Davis of the folks he needs to watch until he can get rid of them. Because the Hall Culture of Corruption will exist as long a these folks are present and progress will shut down to a halt at APS. Trust!

APS teacher.

July 27th, 2011
12:15 pm

I like your post Glenn. Thanks.

Atlanta Teacher

July 27th, 2011
2:55 pm

Chilly I am real concerned about the reported APS deficit and what is going to be done proactively in the interim to address this concern? Is Mr. Davis checking to make sure he needs to hire a bunch of new staff when he really may need a reduction in staff. He needs to immediately get rid of all but four educational reform models, decreased every high school to one principal, get ready to close every school with less than 200 hundred students immediately.

Review every new position that was created in the last 3 years and cancel those positions. We didn’t have those positions when the district had 100,000+ students and we certainly don’t need the positions with less than 49,000 students. Start at the CLL building, high school office, SRT Offices and cancel all new positions created in the last 3 years. The housing projects closed in Atlanta during this time frame and we don’t have the students to justify all of this staff growth at APS. We can’t afford all of this costly fluff that Beverly Hall created. Funds need to go to the classrooms where the students are daily. Put all certified staff currently in the CLL and SRT’s back in schools immediately, This will provide some immediate staff to fill any real vacancies.

What other cost savings initiatives can be done immediately at APS?


July 27th, 2011
9:00 pm

@Atlanta teacher: Refreshingly well said.

Shocked at this... not anymore

July 27th, 2011
10:09 pm

Even before I heard the amount, I knew that APS was in a terrible place when it comes to money! There are so many things we can do to at least shore up this year and begin making some of those tough decisions for the next few years.

The state funding model for schools is 450 students. Schools do not maximize state funding unless they have this enrollment, and there are a lot of APS schools with fewer than 450 students. We desperately need to think about redistricting, and this, too, gets in to politics. APS is imbalanced when it comes to its enrollment. The schools below I-20 and in areas near the now-closed housing projects are under enrolled. The schools on the north side of the city are filled to the brim with children-Jackson, Smith, Brandon all have 2 campuses; Rivers, Lin, Morningside, and Spark are either reaching or over capacity.

Some of this can be fixed with redistricting, and some will have to be addressed with new buildings or additions to existing structures. Of course, like we all saw in DeKalb, this issue causes parents and communities to become very heated! That is my concern… politics will get in the way of making a sound fiscal and equitable decision for the students and citizens of Atlanta (actually, isn’t that the norm these days?).

chillywilly, totally agree with you about eliminating duplicate and overpaid positions!

Atlanta Teacher, I’ve worked in multiple SRTs and some of the people there do a great job assisting schools… others just audit schools and create forms. There needs to be some kind of survey to see what schools need from these people and, later, how they served the school. Obviously, if the SRT or specific personnel receive consistently low reviews, we need to rethink their purpose.

Given the fact that Davis is an interim, he is in the best position to make these hard decisions without fear of having his contract non-renewed or the board losing the next election.

Reality Bites

July 27th, 2011
10:50 pm

What I wanna know is if anyone here knows the legal definition of fraud….I think im pretty close to a bullseye on saying that the 178 employees that took bonus money are guilty of this crime. Fired hell!….Prosecute em. BTW the new immigration law has decimated the farm labor industry. My advice to the APS people out of work and/or convicted after this mess sorts out…..wear a hat!

Top School

July 28th, 2011
2:39 am

There are drunken homeless people on the streets of Atlanta that have more ethics than the CURRENT APS BOARD

After they are finished with the SACS ACCREDITATION the Board MEMBERS under former Beverly HALL’S administration need to make a GRACEFUL EXIT. They need to RESIGN and let honest ethical leadership REPAIR the remaining APS DAMAGE that is not currently clear and transparent.

We owe these current APS-Board Members NOT- A- THING…They are not any more worthy to serve than the teachers and administrators we are expecting to leave without incident. With some remaining honor…current APS Board members should stay until SACS is finished with their song and dance. This will settle down the NORTHSIDE FEAR. Other than this contribution…the APS Board should fall-out of the publics eye. As Atlanta citizens we should say Bye Bye, NOW after they’ve patched one of the holes in the APS sinking ship.

There are drunken homeless people on the streets of Atlanta that have more ethics than the CURRENT APS BOARD. The POLITICAL EGOS of this Atlanta Board of Education makes the HELL-ACIOUS sound of long fingernails scratching DOWN an old worn-out APS chalk board on the Southside of Atlanta sound good in comparison.

Heaven forbid YOU COULD NOT FIND a CHALK BOARD ON THE NORTHSIDE. They’ve removed all of them and replaced them with Promethean Boards from their PTA CONTRIBUTIONS.


July 28th, 2011
1:08 pm

YES, I agree. Great posting Dr. Dowell!


July 28th, 2011
5:06 pm

The deficit is real