Live blogging from North Atlanta High meeting with Davis: Did he make his case?

8:03 p.m. Still five people on line to ask questions in a session that began 6:20 p.m.

Parent. (Final question at 8:09 p.m.) Have you told the truth and the whole truth?

Davis: I try to tell the truth.  When it gets to personnel matters, I am at a disadvantage as I can’t share that with you.

Student: Why now?

Davis: Already answered that. (Which he had, about a dozen times. Just not sure folks bought his answer.)

Student: Kids aren’t graduating. It is not the fault of the administrators. Kids aren’t doing the work.

Parent: Davis was correct in his opening statement. “We are not getting satisfaction from the meeting but also not getting clarity.” Why did this have to be so rushed, so cloak and dagger with no discussion with administrators involved?

Davis: I had a sense of urgency. I wanted to change leadership before new principal got here.

Student: Why remove administrators now as many have only been in jobs for one or two years so the school’s historic problems cannot be blamed on them?

Davis: “I looked back five years and did not see the performance this school should have”. Administrators individually are fine. As a team, they weren’t succeeding. “It’s not a sin to be in the middle of the pack. But I don’t want that to be the standard for North Atlanta High School. With the kind of commitment, with the resources that are available in this community, this school should be at the head of the pack.”

Davis says APS has done value-added computations on how many months of gains students register in each high school. At North Atlanta, students gain 10 months in nine months of school. But at Carver, students gain 17 months in that time, “almost twice,” said Davis.

Parent: Can you bring back those people so we can say thank you and goodbye? (That question earned a standing ovation.)

Davis: Yes, he can make that opportunity possible.

Student: I have a project here but now it been put on hold because shift in administrators. Could you not have kept the prior team?

Davis: Essentially, he said “no.” But he applauded students and their interest and their questions.

Parent: If other schools are failing, do you plan on similar actions there.

Davis: “Each school is different. I do not have similar plans for all those high schools.”

Parent: You have four very important positions to fill. What makes you think someone who can fit that bill come to place where they can subject to bloodless Coup d’état at any time?  (Applause)

Davis: “They will come here to work under exciting new leaders. I don’t have any doubts that we will be able to attract all the administrators.”

Parent: Do you think it is not too late to start over and do it right?

Davis: I feel very strongly about performance. That performance will, in fact, be changed and motivated by a group of new leaders. I think we have chosen an excellent one and believe he will choose an excellent team. In retrospect, we could have done a lot better on the process.

Bedlam at 6:58. Deposed principal Mark MyGrant has just entered packed gym. He gets a standing ovation.

Davis is clearly unhappy with MyGrant’s dramatic entrance and the warm welcome from a raucous crowd.

“We have had our Kabuki theater moment. Let her ask her question,” he says, gesturing to the speaker at microphone. There are 25 people behind her in line to ask questions. MyGrant leaves the gym.

“This should be our premier school in this city,” he said, in response to her question on why he felt that North Atlanta High was in need of urgent change in its leadership and why he yanked the four leaders of the Small Learning Communities.

Parent: “Please consider that these are communities, these schools.” Why were the beloved administrators treated with such disrespect? “If you have a decision like this coming, approach the community. Say, ‘Here is a problem. Let’s solve it together.’ Parent says Davis also tone deaf to community when he pulled teachers from Garden Hills in leveling last year. Parent came before him about that last year as well.

Davis: “I listened to you last year about leveling.” Changed leveling process. Still have it, but it is now two-step process: Talk about qualitative issues in that school before we move teachers. “Every decision you learn from.”

Parent: We can handle change. But change is very different than ambushing a community of parent and students. Will you reconsider if open records requests reveal why this was done?

Davis: Decision made on performance data and data will not change.

Student: Was racism a factor at all in these decisions?

Davis: “I have no knowledge of any charges or allegations of racism at this school…My decisions were made on performance, where we are and where we should be.”

Student: How does transferring the four administrators to other schools solve the problem if the administrators are to blame for North Atlanta’s poor performance?

Davis: Odd response to this: Something about the difference in individual sport performance vs. team sports.

Student: Similar question.

Davis:. Similar answer: He wanted the new principal to pick his entire new team so Dr. Taylor would not face any obstacles in turning school around.

Parent: Complained that Davis talking too slow to delay questions. Said he lacked any credibility. She left to applause from students.

Student: Why weren’t parents notified of changes?

Davis: “That is not going to a happen. There will never be a time, either with lead time or without lead time, when I seek permission from parents.”

Student: How will the new administration be able to succeed with hostility they will face from students. “Other than the counseling you mentioned.” (In earlier question on how students, coming back tomorrow from a break, will cope, Davis said counselors will be on hand.)

Student: But was school improving under the ousted administrators? What were the trends?

Davis: I don’t have that data. (Crowd unhappy with that response.) I believe progress has been made over time, but has enough progress been made?  Where are we now? What have we done over the last five years?

Parent: Why not at the beginning of the school year or over the summer? Why the emergency nature of the removals?

Davis: “Urgency is related to the appearance of the new principal. Again, the circumstances did exist, but we did not have new leadership coming.”

A 2005 graduate of NAHS: You knew this summer that school was in the needs improvement category this summer. “My concern is decision to take these administrators out almost halfway during the semester was done prematurely.” And replacements are only temporary. It is not the normal process to yank staff, put in replacements for a short time and then hire other people.

Davis: People are going to describe what the normal process is. I don’t want to take a year for that normal process. That is why I took actions I did.  He acknowledged that the actions were not usual, but were warranted because of the special circumstances. “It is not normal, but I hope it is brief.”

Parent: Son dreading school tomorrow, coming back from break, with administrators gone.

Davis: We will have counselors available at school Wednesday.

Parent: People loyal to us, retired from us. How can you justify this?

Davis: They were transferred under standard protocol. Ran Fortune 1000 company.  That is how we do it.

Parent: These were decent people.

Davis: “There is no debate about the decency of these people. If I didn’t think they were quality people, they would have not been reassigned. ”

Parent: Why take away web site access to PTSA?

Davis: Web site access was changed across system. (Guffaws)

6:23: Erroll Davis begins with his opening statements: “We can potentially have an unsatisfactory discussion for a number of reasons.” He says he can’t discuss specific personnel issues. “I am not going to do that.”

He will not say why principal Mark MyGrant was summarily dismissed Friday. He thanked the administrators transferred to new assignments.

“We did use our standard protocol for sensitive announcements but no one was escorted out of this building,” he said. (I assume the standard protocol refers to the presence of school officers as well as the demand that the four turn over their APS computers. I asked Davis after the event about why APS took the computers from the four staffers who were reassigned. He said it was standard industry protocol in sensitive job changes to confiscate the computers to protect data as employees can get upset and do damage or compromise data. He said the computers had been returned to the four.)

“My view is this school needs to be a lot more than it is presently. It has fantastic potential, fabulous support.”

“We are moving into a $100 million facility next year. I want our performance as a system and as a school to be on that level.”

He is now outlining the under performance of North Atlanta. “Performance data for this schools says it has to improve and improve quickly.”

“I am not here to bash this school. This school has great potential.”

“From 2007 to 2011, this school did not make AYP. Now, it is an NI-4 school, which means under some level of state monitoring and reporting.”

Now, school has to meet higher standards. “If I had a team that did not make the lower standards, why should I have confidence that it will be able to make the higher standards?”

“Graduation rate is higher than system average. It is at 62 percent, seventh from the bottom at APS. This is not what I want for APS. This is not where we need to be. It means we are failing four out of every 10 of our children.”

“I don’t doubt that most parents in this room have children who are going to graduate. Through the eyes of your children where you get lots of the school experiences, you are hearing that they are having a great experience. ”

“But four out every 10 kids who walk through this door are not graduating.”

“This high school should be No. 1 under every factor. I have other concerns. I look at performance and what we were achieving and what we are achieving here. I have come to conclude with dynamic new principal coming, I want him to have every opportunity to succeed. ”

He says that he felt new principal could not succeed with the old administration in place. “So, I removed them and put them in different assignments.” He stressed that they did not lose status, pay or stature.

5:16: Parents arriving in red T-shirts proclaiming “APS Parent Satisfaction. O%”
Place is filling up fast.

5:21: About 100 North Atlanta High School students outside with signs and chants “We want answers” and “Bring them back.”
Lots of TV reporters. Lots of mulling parents. Erroll Davis arrives.

5:30: Talked to some students outside. They want to know what I think about why this happened. I tell them I don’t know, but I can’t understand why this was handled so badly by APS. They want to know about the comparison between what happened at NAHS and what didn’t happen at Jackson High. New principal appointed there as well, but no wholesale banishment of the administrative staff to jobs elsewhere. Why?

5:52: Talked to parents from Grady and Jackson. They are here to see why policies differ high school to high school.

5:53: TV crews are being confined to small  area next to me roped off with red cords. (I am sitting in third row. It pays to come at 3:50 p.m. for a 6 p.m. meeting. Some unhappiness among TV cameramen being crammed in small area. (Hey, Steve Alford, they need more space.)

5:58. All 400 seats are taken. Parents are now filling bleachers in the gym. Lots of security on hand. Stopping folks from walking near the podium.

5:59. School board chair Reuben R. McDaniel is here. North Atlanta rep Nancy Meister is also here. So is Cecily Harsch-Kinnane. Meister was about to sit in the reserved row, but was told it was for the transition team being brought to NAHS from the Central office. (The entire board may be here, but can’t walk around too easily to check.) The students with signs are now filling the other half of the gym. Probably nearly 800 people here or more. (

By the way, this diverse NAHS student body looks like an ad for Benetton. Young, attractive, engaged and united. Nice to see.

Among the signs: “It’s a say day at NAHS” and “New Day, No Way,” referring to Davis’ description of the removal of the old staff as a “new day.”

6:07: Where is Erroll Davis? He is in the building but not yet on the stage. This place has the feel of a Hawks game. Lots of excitement, noise and energy. And it’s a gym.

6:13: Still no Erroll Davis. I know he is here. Either he is prepping or waiting for the crowd to quiet down.

I am at the North Atlanta High School gym for the 6 p.m. meeting with APS school chief Erroll B. Davis.  (I am an hour early but I was worried about traffic and getting a seat.) Fulton County Commissioner Robb Pitts just arrived. School board member Emmett Johnson is now here.

6:18: Last sound check. One man in the crowd just yelled, “It’s 6:20 already.” It is actually 6:18.

6:19. Erroll Davis is about to speak. A hush is falling over the crowd, even the students. The board members are being introduced. Tepid response to board Chair McDaniel – who is cast as a factor in what happened at the school in some of the scenarios making the rounds — but warm and boisterous response to Meister’s name. Nice response as well for Harsch-Kinnane, Johnson and Brenda J. Muhammad. Crowd has filled

6:23: Davis: “We can potentially have an unsatisfactory discussion for a number of reasons. He says he can’t discuss specific personnel issues and “I am not going to do that.”

He will not say why principal Mark MyGrant was summarily dismissed Friday. He thanked the administrators transferred to new assignments.

“We did use our standard protocol for sensitive announcements..but no one was escorted out of this building,” he said. I assume the standard protocol refers to the presence of school officers.

My view is this school needs to be a lot more than it is presetly, It as fantastic potential, fablous support. We are moving into a $100 million facility next year, I want our performance as a system and a school to be on that level,

He is now outlining the under performance of North Atlanta. Performance data for this schools says it has to improve and improve quickly.

I am not here to bash this school. This school has great potential

From 2007 to 2011, this school did not make AYP. Now, it is an NI-4 school, which means under some level of state monitoring and reporting.

Now, school has to meet higher standards. If I had a team that did not meet lower standards, why should I have confidence that it will meet the higher standards?

Graduation rate is higher than system average. It is at 62 percent, seventh from the bottom at APS. This is not what I want for APS. This is not where we need to be. It means we are failing four out of every 10 of our children.

I don’t doubt that most parents in this room have children who are going to graduate. Through the eyes of your children where you get lots of the school experiences, you are hearing that they are having a great experience.

But four out every 10 kids who walk through this door are not graduating.

This high school should be No. 1 under every factor. I have other concerns. I look at performance and what we were achieving and what we are achieving here. I have come to conclude with dynamic new principal coming, I want him to have every opportunity to succeed.

He says that he felt new principal could not succeed with the old administration in place. “So, I removed them and put them in different assignments.” He stressed that they did not lose status, pay or stature.

Several student journalists here — which I love to see — and TV camera crews setting up. There are about 30 parents and staff. More talking outside. I did a count and there are 400 seats set up for parents. When a TV camera man pulled one away to put down his bags, he was told that all seats must remain.

I will blog from the event as long as my signal holds, but, in the meantime, here is a statement released this afternoon by the North Atlanta High PTSA:

In advance of the meeting tonight with APS Superintendent Davis and in response to hundreds of questions received from parents, the Executive Board of the North Atlanta PTSA has issued the following statement:

The PTSA had no knowledge of the APS personnel changes in advance of Friday’s dismissals.

We are appalled and disappointed with the unprofessional and disrespectful manner in which our administrators were treated. We expect APS officials to model respectful treatment of employees, students and parents, and we do not believe this standard was upheld.

Although we realize that change is inevitable with any transition, we believe the removal of this administrative team at this time is not in the best interest of our students and will adversely impact the students in the coming weeks and months.

The manner in which these actions occurred has cast a negative light on our school and district.

We believe the students, parents, faculty and our new principal, Dr. Taylor, deserve the institutional knowledge and stability provided by our former administrative team during this time of transition. We respectfully request the immediate reinstatement of our administrative staff.

We welcome our new principal Dr. Taylor and look forward to meeting him in the coming weeks and are committed to working with him to continue building excellence at North Atlanta High School.

This statement has been prepared in the spirit of the National PTSA Standards, which are included below.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

160 comments Add your comment

indigo

October 9th, 2012
5:27 pm

Does anyone honestly believe that Erroll Davis will “bring them back”?

Double Zero Eight

October 9th, 2012
5:38 pm

Davis will bring some of them back.
He did not expect this degree of outrage.

bootney farnsworth

October 9th, 2012
5:38 pm

I wouldn’t believe Davis if he said water was wet

bootney farnsworth

October 9th, 2012
5:40 pm

knowing how the system works, IF by some chance anyone is brought back, they will be stuck with the worst duties, loss of anything resembling status, and essentially be paid to do nothing.

chillywilly

October 9th, 2012
5:43 pm

Davis strikes me as a very weak superintendent who talks out of both sides of his mouth. Hopefully the NAHS community will take him to task and get their administrators back. This school system is sickening and definitely needs a wholesale cleaning.

Beverly Fraud

October 9th, 2012
6:01 pm

If he learned anything from his experience with Drew, he’ll realize some folks aren’t going to be intimidated by ham-fisted power plays.

Beverly Fraud

October 9th, 2012
6:07 pm

Sounds like, (at least metaphorically speaking) in the words of the immortal Gordon Solie,a Pier 6 Brawl is about to take place.

I’m guessing the above reference is lost on most of those reading, (and moderating LOL) but no doubt a couple will appreciate it…hopefully

Beverly Fraud

October 9th, 2012
6:10 pm

“So is Cecily Harsch-Kinnane”

The Apologist is here? No doubt, in an “olive branch” move, she’ll propose, for “healing the community” the school be renamed Beverly Hall High.

teacher

October 9th, 2012
6:12 pm

Maureen you have really done a great job on this. Kudos to you. Wish you had been a tough gal like this when Beverly Fraud was around ! You treated Beverly Fraud with velvet gloves :) But you have come around :)

teacher

October 9th, 2012
6:13 pm

I just cant wait for the apologist to come around and say “Lets move on for the sake of the children”

Beverly Fraud

October 9th, 2012
6:18 pm

Oh but @teacher, any resemblance between Beverly Fraud and Beverly Hall is PURELY coincidental.

Of course.

teacher

October 9th, 2012
6:22 pm

what has Robb Pitts got to do with this? makes you wonder why Errol and his team decided to get the Atlanta Hall of Fame out for this? as a shield? Are we going to see Mayor reed and Shirley and Julian Bonds and the Black Clergy on the stage next to Errrol?

Beverly Fraud

October 9th, 2012
6:24 pm

6:07: Where is Erroll Davis? He is in the building but not yet on the stage. This place has the feel of a Hawks game. Lots of excitement, noise and energy. And it’s a gym.

A Hawks game Maureen? excitement, noise and energy at a HAWKS game?

Umm…maybe you better check with Mark Bradley or Jeff Schultz on that one.

Dr. John Trotter

October 9th, 2012
6:25 pm

This looks to me to be a classic case of administrative incompetence emanating again from Trinity Avenue. Perhaps some of the Beverly Hall Hangeroners whom Davis kept in place influenced him in this matter — or perhaps this is his own incompetence coming through loud and clear. Hey, he was the Governor’s choice, was he not?

Does Anyone Really Care?

October 9th, 2012
6:28 pm

This is more about the administrators that have been over a failing school. SATs scores below Georgia average. No AYP for 5 years! What is it that you want? A person that everyone likes or someone that will keep this school from being the laughing stock of the nation. Parents are more interested in having a nice guy as opposed to a quality education that can be measured by the most basic parameters, ie test scores. Shameful!!!!

Beverly Fraud

October 9th, 2012
6:29 pm

“Nice response as well for Harsch-Kinnane”

Proving once and for all the citizens of Atlanta get what they FULLY and RICHLY deserve from APS.

Beverly Fraud

October 9th, 2012
6:31 pm

“This looks to me to be a classic case of administrative incompetence emanating again from Trinity Avenue”

Well now I know at least one person will get the Pier 6/Gordon Solie reference…

inDEED!

Dr. John Trotter

October 9th, 2012
6:32 pm

Erroll is accustomed to calling the shots in the corporate world without a lot of feedback…except a few months later from some disgruntled shareholders who actually show up at the Annual Corporate Meeting. Erroll, it’s a little different in public education. Yes, the money can be taxed, but the people can easily get fired up and come running to a meeting…and even politicians like Robb will show up. Ha! Well, we know that this situation at North Atlanta is tinged with race. Everyone will publicly deny it but everyone knows that it is true.

NHS/Sutton Alum

October 9th, 2012
6:32 pm

Thanks for posting a liveblog, Ms. Downey! As a former student for whom these administrators worked during Middle and High School, I am saddened by the way they were released and am anxious to hear an explanation for the indignity, and the shake up of significant leadership at a vulnerable time for senior college applications and exams. Reginald Colbert gave me my first exposure to classic, wonderful jazz, and a fearlessnes to play through the nerves. That he was asked out of a well-deserved retirement to be summarily dismissed, I will never forgive. Mr. Denine was the only teacher who could convince me to love the Great Gatsby, and who exposed me to literature that was feminist and race-positive in a way that has impacted my life and career to this day. Ms. Stewart got me a 5 on the *AP* econ exam – and I hated Econ! Ms. Gautreax was my dedicated middle school gym coach who has remembered my name for more than 15 years – even when I stopped by the school a week before school started to check the place out, and she was there at 7 PM working hard, and Mr. Mygrant was my middle school principal who shaved his head as a promised reward for student reading improvement!

I don’t know what happened, I don’t know what widespread problems there were, but I know these educators worked hard and gave their careers to APS. To say this could have been handled better is the understatement of the year.

Atlanta Mom

October 9th, 2012
6:35 pm

Anyone who wants a more detailed transcript of the meeting, you might want to open another window and go to http://www.talkupaps.com/

teacher

October 9th, 2012
6:42 pm

From the initial transcripton talkupaps.com I can see that Errolls is already talking hogwash. He says he had to do this because NAHS did not meet AYP and was in trouble.
Really Errol??? How many years has it been that Douglass High has not made AYP? and what did you do there? You brought back a principal at Douglass who lets say has an interesting background.

Beverly Fraud

October 9th, 2012
6:46 pm

“We did use our standard protocol for sensitive announcements but no one was escorted out of this building,”

Standard from where? The Victor Hill School of Management?

Wilbur

October 9th, 2012
6:46 pm

So Davis decided to give the parents and the students the finger with his non statement. Leaders have to lead which is more than to decide and jam the decision down the throats of those who either disagree or are not sure.
I hope the parents don’t settle for Davis’ claptrap as a ending point. He took an extraordinary action and he needs to explain that fully or face a continued loss of confidence from his constituency. The business community has no business backing this kind of uninspired, hamfisted dictator.

LEMAC

October 9th, 2012
6:56 pm

As a City of Atlanta tax payer and a neighbor, and as a mentally competant graduate of the U of GA scholastic system, I appreciate Errol’s competence and willingness to get involved in this incredible cess pool called the APS.
Northside high is an incredable failure due to the incompetence of the administrative staff to which the facility was entrustred. I vote inevery election and, therefore, am partially responsible for the joke we have put in office called the “School Board”. God bless Errol and grant him the patience and will to perserver in trying to save – at least one – of Atlanta’s institutions of learning!

Dunwoody Mom

October 9th, 2012
7:05 pm

Is anyone buying this gibberish from Davis. I don’t even have stake in this and I’m offended at his attitude.

Another Voice

October 9th, 2012
7:23 pm

And given the demographic for North Atlanta … is he really sure that 40% are “failing” and not “escaping” to other schools, specifically private schools? That’s an easy stat to use as his explanation, but I think it is hollow.

I would be interested to see that data! And after this, willing to bet that many parents will withdraw their children as soon as they can place them in any private school, or relocate to another county system …. many would probably fit well in East Cobb’s schools.

Dr. John Trotter

October 9th, 2012
7:30 pm

When a person does not have an authenic voice, he or she simply cannot fake the ring of truth.

Sandy Springs Parent

October 9th, 2012
7:32 pm

The only way to solve the underperformance the Errol is talking about is to stop the Out of Zone transfers. The ones that get off the bus at West Wesley. But then they scream that the “Buckhead Betty’s and the PTA Mom’s are raciest”. Boy has Errol just stepped in this one. His Black Maffia at Central office has just told him to blame it on the difficult over involved Whites that are interfering in everything they do at those Northside School. They are Raciest they didn’t like the Black Candidate from out of town. After all they even complained when we put Eddie Echol’s on the Certificate he only has been indited by Fulton county for Stealing $26K from Fulton County. The Audit shows over $70K missing, that is nothing by Atlanta standards.

Wait until Boston finds out Marta spent over $100K for a Shrink for the B they just hired, who no one could stand her abusive Management style. They will recind their offer and save a bundle.

David J. Llewellyn

October 9th, 2012
7:37 pm

Here is what I have said on the APS blog:

This is a disgrace and a farce. These were top flight administrators who worked hard and were loved and respected by the students. My two NAHS grads owe a lot to each of them. The problem here seems to be a “Fortune 500″ mentality. Friday night massacres may be the way you handle things in business today, but it is not right there, and it is particularly wrong in an academic setting. Our recent experience at the University of Virginia where the board chair coerced the President into resigning is another example. And there the board had to backtrack and rehire the President. If this school is not performing well it can hardly be because of these fine folks. Further, Mr. Davis’ bashing of NAHS tonight will do incalculable damage to the school. Shame on him!! He should know better. Something is rotten here.

Old School

October 9th, 2012
7:37 pm

I didn’t realize this was a NI-4 school, emaeaning it hasn’t made AYP in four years. Doesn’t the NCLB act call for certain actions in these cases? At some point, the law calls for a change of administration. Could this be why they were reassigned?

Georgia coach

October 9th, 2012
7:39 pm

Fulton will find the missing money if they look in the direction of the former riverwood athletic director

Concernedmom30329

October 9th, 2012
7:42 pm

Old School, Not that early, plus consequences from NCLB have been changed.

Maureen, on other site, apparently he said “to be frank, we have different expectations” when talking about schools not performing well.

Wow.

Adam

October 9th, 2012
7:44 pm

“very passionate, very vocal, very clear” Just left the meeting. Did anyone pick up on what I believe was the real reason he did all of this? He wanted to usurp the voice of the community from the decision making process. When I heard it, I couldn’t believe he said it! That’s what he learned from the redistricting process. Son is in sixth grade. I do not know if I can continue to champion public education in Atlanta.

Concernedmom30329

October 9th, 2012
7:54 pm

And this — a 360 evaluation from all stakeholders for their principals. We will ask parents, students and teachers to all complete the survey on their principal.

Wow. Wish DeKalb would do this

TheGoldenRam

October 9th, 2012
8:00 pm

I got it. I understand this now. I just looked up the the test data and breakdowns for North Atlanta High on the Georgia Dept. of Education website. What you are experiencing is exactly the same thing that some of the schools in our North Florida county are facing. A clash of cultures in a single school setting. A group of students that perform remarkably well & a group of students that perform poorly. The latter group pulls the scores down so far that the school doesn’t make AYP. Teachers in our school district have gossiped amongst themselves for years about how they are penalized for the failings that manifest themselves in certain sub-groups. Groups that are far more likely to be harmed by breakdowns in family and community culture, values & morals than any disparity in educational opportunity. That’s why these issues get addressed in this way. Nobody wants to admit the hard truths behind the numbers, so they play politics with the system.

Motivated parents in our community that find themselves facing this situation at their schools have found a new ally in recent years. They are called charter schools. That’s where charters are making their breakthrough into our county’s school system. In the schools that are in conflict over expectations and culture. Charters can’t touch the high-end public schools in our county, but they are taking it to the one’s that are trying to pursue multiple missions out of the same building.

ChartersStarter, Too

October 9th, 2012
8:01 pm

One could only hope that the Board (although it doesn’t have Fortune 500 experience) will exercise the same measure on Errol as he exacted on this staff – an embarrassing OUSTING with security walking him out just for good measure. I have no issue at all with hard decisions being made when leadership is poor, and honestly, I don’t know what the real reasons were. It sounds so very odd to me that a whole team would be removed on emergency like this. This is a morale killer, is disrespectful, and frankly, unnecessary. Worst of all, it is a complete distraction, which will surely impact focus on learning for quite some time.

Despite this awful situation for the staff and students, these students will never forget this experience. They will forever understand the importance of being involved and exercising their voice and the “whims” of those in power. Maureen, like you, I am happy to hear that student reporters were present.

Hang tough NAHS staff, students, and parents.

20/20

October 9th, 2012
8:11 pm

Sitting in audience and Enroll has stepped in major crap this time and I hope the APS board gets the message and send him where senior citizens go to graze when their mental status is no longer applicable for the fortune 500 workplace. Leadership Matters!!!! Enroll Needs To Go ASAP!!!!

Old School

October 9th, 2012
8:12 pm

Excuse typos. Curser jumps around sometimes.

Bob

October 9th, 2012
8:15 pm

Davis says the school in this community should be number one. Is that because the community is white ?

Atlanta Mom

October 9th, 2012
8:16 pm

Thank you for being there Maureen.

Truth in Moderation

October 9th, 2012
8:36 pm

@TheGoldenRahm

I got it. This whole thing was staged to coincide with the Charter Amendment vote. Get the wealthy, successful North Atlanta families to vote for state charters to rid themselves from this type of educational abuse. Let them see how hopeless public schools are for them, and tempt them with a tax-funded “private” charter school. But the joke will be on them. Once the state gets control of the schools and purse strings, any hoped for gains will be snatched from them in due time. We’ll have a nice communist school system, just like China. Of course, the only true freedom loving Constitutional choice is to overturn the Unconstitutional compulsory school law and return to private and home schools, which by the way, produced a very high level of literacy in 1776. Just look at the Federalist Papers, written to the general population. It would be considered “Honor’s English” today.

You must be expecting a nice payback from passage of the Charter School Amendment, or I doubt such an intelligent person from North Florida would waste his time on Georgia local politics.

Underwhelmed

October 9th, 2012
8:37 pm

Could not believe that Davis said he had to take such drastic action because the situation that was not normal at North Atlanta. When pressed to define “not normal”, he said it was not abnormal but rather that parents were “so involved” and concerned. Effectively saying parental oversight over their children’s education is not normal and a bad thing for superintendents. I could not listen to the bull anymore. He really needs to go back to running a fortune 500 company and let us get someone who understands that involved parents are an asset and not a problem.

David J. Llewellyn

October 9th, 2012
8:43 pm

This is a disgrace and a farce. These were top flight administrators who worked hard and were loved and respected by the students. My two NAHS grads owe a lot to each of them. The problem here seems to be a “Fortune 500″ mentality. Friday night massacres may be the way you handle things in business today, but it is not right there, and it is particularly wrong in an academic setting. Our recent experience at the University of Virginia where the board chair coerced the President into resigning is another example. And there the board had to backtrack and rehire the President. If this school is not performing well it can hardly be because of these fine folks. Further, Mr. Davis’ bashing of NAHS tonight will do incalculable damage to the school. Shame on him!! He should know better. Something is rotten here.

gmomofali

October 9th, 2012
8:44 pm

Sad, sad, sad… I am glad I removed my son in time. I pray that the truth comes out before the lives of children are hurt any more than they have been already. Racist, yes, maybe or is it just politics.

Sitting Back Eating Popcorn :)

October 9th, 2012
8:46 pm

Ahhh, Davis basically gave everyone in the gymnasium the middle finger. I bet you $10 that he will not lose any sleep over this tonight, lol! I wonder who’s next on his list? I wish the teachers who got fired last year would have had this much support from everyone like I see in these comments. Many were calling for their heads! Some were not guilty.

Sandy Springs Parent

October 9th, 2012
8:52 pm

@ Georgia Coach, I and a couple of other parents point Aviosa to Jeff, the former AD. With the 17K in Missing Football Gate Receipts, it was plan as day. Also, I had never worked a consessions stand where there was no starting and finish inventory, along with no counting of the cash. Jeff’s six kids thought they could just come in and out and grab food for free, I told them to get out. I told Avaossa and the press about Consessions which is where he got caught on admitting to taking the cash box home over the weekend. I am sure thousands more in consessions money went home with him, to feed the Chubby family. I also never saw so many people eat for free out of consessions, and Jeff’s Buddy being allowed to sell Q’ through the consessions and getting paid. Not Kosher!!!. We also told him to look at the field rent which is where he got caught with the summer camp rent. We all really wondered what happened to the money from Holy Innocent’s. I told my next door neighbor that they should have HI raise it from their end too. Since, They told me they were paying a hefty sum for field rental and a part of their consessions, parking too. I didn’t understand how they could rent the parking because you can’t rent gov’t ment owned land for football parking. ( I had to tell some fools in W.Va that they could not do that, it would have to go to the US. Treasury, not their petty cash). I am sure that when Eddie Echols is about to go to trial, Jeff, along with a few of his Special Education teacher Coaches buddies will find themselves sold out, in order for Echols to avoid Jail time. Remember their is also a parent, whose picture was on the Costco, ID, that said his name was Eddie Echols. Based on Vitrol E-mails myself and others received, it could be very interesting. If it turns out who I think it is, I can’t wait for that identety theft bill from the DA.

RCB

October 9th, 2012
8:53 pm

I thought Erroll Davis would be an improvement for APS. Sadly, he does not seem to be capable of overcoming and over-turning the problems this system has had for at least 15-20 years. I can’t believe the APS Board is considering extending his contract for 2 more years. You get what you vote for, I guess, but I don’t see any possibility of improvement for decades to come.

Kris

October 9th, 2012
9:00 pm

Typical answers from Davis, play book to be exact..Thank you Maureen for covering this.
If you pull any of Davis previous encounters with the public you will see the same cookie cutter response (Already answered that, sense of urgency. urgency. opportunity possible. They will come here to work I feel very strongly about performance)..Same BS when he was at the Board Of Regents.

I tell you this is a Dirty DEAL smokescreen to cover up. The Charter school scam, unqualified Lottery Director,(ask Davis about qualifications) gambling in Gwenette, to name a few.

Fix the System we have….Fire Davis and get a real educator.

Sandy Springs Parent

October 9th, 2012
9:00 pm

@ Golden Ram, the problem is with the students who aren’t even zoned to the district. The line jumpers. It is so blatant you see them at the Marta Bus Stop down the street. Some people downtown don’t like that all of a sudden the people who actually pay the taxes in the zoned district have not only been sending their kids to Elementary, but Middle and now High School. So let’s blame the over involved PTA parents.

Errol Screwed up. These parents, will go right to the Chamber of Commerce. These people and their friends control the real money in Atlanta.

This really shows why Mary Norwood needs to run again. This time, the voter roles need to be right and everyone needs to vote. The people who actually pay the majority of the taxes need to vote. We need to get rid of The Airport and School Corruption and jobs program. There must be a stop to the overt reverse racism in Atlanta, Fulton County and Dekalb County.

redweather

October 9th, 2012
9:05 pm

The school hasn’t made AYP in four years and parents and students are upset about a change of leadership? No good deed goes unpunished.

bootney farnsworth

October 9th, 2012
9:06 pm

and why was Erroll the gov’s choice?
does what he’s told without question. and is establishing a history of systemic fiscal mismanagement under his watch

Involved Parent

October 9th, 2012
9:14 pm

In the end it all comes down to this, for the board, the current administration at North Atlanta was clearly not black enough.

Private school

October 9th, 2012
9:24 pm

You pay and they are accountable to you. Most of the time the parents are achievers who are concerned about what their kids are being taught because they are invested. The government does little well. Why people turn their children over to them every day amazes me.

Atlanta Native

October 9th, 2012
9:27 pm

Why do so many ultra-wealthy Buckhead families send their kids to NAHS? When you have no money, you have no choices. When you have lots of money, you have lots of choices. Why send your kids to public school, only to be chronically dissatisfied and frustrated with it? It baffles me to see these affluent parents, who have endless resources at their disposal, shaking their fists and protesting at a public school. Bizarre.

Private Citizen

October 9th, 2012
9:32 pm

If the whole world was run this way, there would be no food in the grocery stores, bridges would fall off their piers, there would be no supply chain of auto parts to keep the vehicles going, the trains would not run at all, much less on time, and media would be reduced to sterile announcements from authority telling their scripted news although it would be futile as there would be no consistent electric service, either. If the whole world was run this way, you would be reduced to standing in your doorway with the door falling off the hinges wondering where your next meal was going to come from.

The boss justifies this treatment because don’t you worry, there are lots of hungry souls lined up needing jobs who will be glad to work in these conditions. Well, isn’t that a fine thing, Atlanta, Georgia. Aren’t you just an inspiration and shining star for business everywhere. Don’t you just set an international example to lead the way and show the world the road to prosperity.

” the hard truths behind the numbers”

1. APS families and school children and the rest of Georgia and the United States do not have universal healthcare for every citizen and are the only country in the modern world that does not. How do think that impacts school children when it comes to eyeglasses and well being? Atlanta is the city that gobbled up all the state funds for this type of care for children and outside of the metroplex, it is really pronounced that families do not have health care and children in need consider the school nurse to be their family doctor where a bandaid or baggie of ice if supposed to serve as medical care. Or a letter from the nurse saying the student needs eyeglasses. The same letter, year after year. Obama and Margaret Thatcher and the Pope and Ben Bernanke can all beat their chests and rend their garments demanding improved performance from schools, but not having health care is a serious weight upon these “expectations.”

2. I have seen a high school disassembled and put back together under the NCLB nuclear option for not meeting improvement. The majority of the staff was removed and replaced. Guess what happened the next year? The exact same scores. Guess what happened to the new hand-picked staff? They were all punished and summoned to the office to be put on personal improvement plans. It’s a new day, folks, a NEW DAY (pardon me). Meanwhile, just as the students have been required to MARCH on the hour for their whole lives, uprooted and told what to do, the students had to endure their loss of community and adjust to the new staff. After all, it has been done before, is that it? I visited this school before the disassembly of staff and I saw a groovy nicely run place with teens walking around with a sense of person, an orderly pleasant environment. I called what happened there “Gut the Fish.” That’s what I call it.

3. The keen thing about this application of accountability is that it leaves out the elementary and middle schools that formed these students before they show up at the school getting the heavy accountability treatment. If a student is not literate by the time they leave elementary school, then making the middle school account seems to ignore this. If a student shows up at high school and can not do science, math, and writing, punishing the high school is a niche fix-it approach and does not address the formation of the students during their prior eight years of instruction / formation. I’m just trying to be realistic. Sending the helicopter gunship the blow up the gas station on the corner is not going to fix a neighborhood.

4. Why is it that some first world countries outside the United States have sober excellent social services but in the United States you can not have basic public administration without it turning into a politically driven looney bin where personal beliefs and antics take over and perpetuate and serve to keep everyone preoccupied with the political caste and the activities of the political establishment. There is a term for this, it is called “attention suck.” In a more formal sense, using economics, the terms is “externality,” to create cost and turbulence. For example, if I repave your street, an externality is the noise of the machinery, the dust, and the road being shut down. It seems there is little regard for externalities. The remedy is “Oh yes… now I recall… I could have gutted the fish differently.”

5. The APS manager reminds me of Mr. Romney. He is effective at taking things apart.

Citizens, in the United States we have an immaturity. We pay a great price in inability to provide services.

Atlanta

October 9th, 2012
9:36 pm

Why is this Principal allowed to stay at Washington High School, one of the worst performing high schools in the state?

Dr. Scavella was run out of Macon and a school in Florida.

“This past June, Sam Scavella resigned as principal at Northeast High after leading the school since 2006.

Central office administrators said he resigned to take another job in Atlanta. Later, they revealed that his departure also came after an investigation into his affair with a graduation coach at the school. Scavella was engaged to another woman at the time.

The graduation coach claimed that after breaking off the relationship with Scavella in early 2009, she received a poor job-performance evaluation. In previous years, during the relationship, she said she had received good reviews, according to school records.

She contended that Scavella, who earned $116,000 a year at Northeast, retaliated and discriminated against her and was guilty of sexual harassment. The school system’s investigation didn’t find evidence to support those claims, but it did require the two not to have contact with each other.

While he was principal of Blanche Ely High School in Florida in 2004-2005, his performance records from the Broward County school system show that he was deemed ineffective as a leader, in terms of “human resources” and “management processes” and for his overall performance review.

Read more here: http://www.macon.com/2010/02/01/1005507/bibb-hiring-school-leaders-whove.html#storylink=cpy

http://www.macon.com/2010/02/01/1005507/bibb-hiring-school-leaders-whove.html

Prof

October 9th, 2012
9:40 pm

When Erroll Davis was Chancellor, we USG faculty saw pretty soon that he was following the same M.O. that he had as CEO of a huge corporation, and didn’t seem to realize that the academic culture was very different from the business culture. He was used to top-down governance that simply told employees what to do; and at first he tried to run the USG as if it were a corporate business.

The first year over the summer he and a Regents committee changed the system’s entire Core Curriculum that all beginning students must take without any faculty input. Enormous push back by all the USG faculty that ultimately resulted in a second revised Core Curriculum that was created over many months by several faculty committees. Quite different from his.

The next year he tried to order that all faculty must have criminal background checks, newly hired or Regents professors. AAUP got involved in that one.

Same here. Davis is still acting like a big business CEO. Now it’s the parents of the schoolchildren who are pushing back. Their children are not a product, and their schools are not a corporation with administrators treated like disposable employees who can be marched out in the “perp’s walk.”

But one question I still have: WHY dispose of Principal MyGrant in that manner (who had the presence of mind to slip out the back door on his own)? He had just been brought out of retirement by Davis a few months earlier and was going back in 3 weeks. What did MyGrant know–and still know?

buckheadbetty

October 9th, 2012
9:40 pm

The frightening lack of grammatical precision in these posts, from this E. Rivers alum, is quite disheartening – although the students are significantly better than the adults. But Nancy Meister, who sold Sarah Smith down the river so she could sell condos on Lenox Road, and Errol Davis, who can’t understand why parents don’t just roll over and play dead because he’s obviously smarter than they are, are the problem. Vote her out, and fire him.

Kris

October 9th, 2012
9:41 pm

bootney farnsworth “and why was Erroll the gov’s choice?”

You hit the nail on the head. Also he was dirty with no human emotion,compassion or feeling for his employes..
The practice of ambushing personnel late Friday afternoon runs ramped in the university system.

A call to come to HR (no compassion() then public safety escorts you off the campus.

Annie

October 9th, 2012
9:44 pm

AYP is now obsolete, Georgia has a new accountability index. North Atlanta in not an NI-4 school now in that the old NCLB categories are gone. Even if new leadership is needed, the actions of Mr. Davis demonstrate a severe lack of judgement and leadership. It is probably because of his lack of experience in school reform and managing change. There are a few very gifted superintendents in Georgia with special skills who have ties to Atlanta who could build consensus and move a community forward. The APS Board should consider this.

Prof

October 9th, 2012
9:45 pm

@ bootney, 9:06 pm. The gossip I heard from several sources was that Erroll was a business buddy of Sonny Purdue’s. Remember that he didn’t come in under Gov. Deal.

Janice

October 9th, 2012
9:45 pm

A school is not a Fortune 500 company. This whole thing is morally offensive – dictatorial school chief and no way of holding him accountable no matter how many people are furious with him.

Dr. John Trotter

October 9th, 2012
9:51 pm

Erroll Davis is obviously a corporate step-and-fetch-it guy. He apparently does what the powers-who-be tell him to do. I don’t see a lot of integrity here, but integrity was never rewarded in the corporate culture.

Kris

October 9th, 2012
9:52 pm

Prof Purdue got the law changed so the chancellor was hired by the Governor (tern used loosely) and was there at his./her/it’s whim. Where as before the chancellor was hired by the Board of Regents.

Sonny like shady deal looks out for himself hires his family and cronies…Go fishing…

Kris

October 9th, 2012
9:54 pm

Sorry should be. @ Prof. Purdue got the law changed so the chancellor was hired by the Governor (tern used loosely) and was there at his./her/it’s whim. Where as before the chancellor was hired by the Board of Regents.

Sonny like shady deal looks out for himself hires his family and cronies…Go fishing…

JAR

October 9th, 2012
9:55 pm

You people making the racist comments and stupid rationalizations about NAHS’s low scores are victims of your own lack of intelligence. You are ignorant to imply that white students from the north don’t contribute to low test scores. Sorry, but your racist ancestors’ legacy is that for years you have been miseducated. Your minds are enslaved to the myth that you are somehow intellectually superior. Maybe your getting a dose of Davis the Dictator is just what you deserve.!! Oh, don’t forget that your beloved Governor put him there. Was Deal at the meeting??

NAHS c/o 04

October 9th, 2012
9:55 pm

“From 2007 to 2011, this school did not make AYP. Now, it is an NI-4 school, which means under some level of state monitoring and reporting.””

This is blatantly untrue. Georgia recieved a waiver from NCLB, so AYP means absolutely nothing. The state has its own evaluation system of identifying “priority” schools. North Atlanta High is not on the list. The list is here: http://www.11alive.com/assetpool/documents/120314091156_Priority%20Schools%2003%2013%2012.pdf

HELLO

October 9th, 2012
9:56 pm

Politics, and people say public school education is equal. If I am correct he said he holds N. Atlanta to a higher standard than other schools in the area. My question is why arent all schools equal as far as education? Why 52% percent of the students receive “free lunch”? When the average household income in most of the zip codes is well over $100k a year. People with “real money” in Buckhead don’t send their kids to public schools anymore because they are smart enough to know that the system is flawed !

Private Citizen

October 9th, 2012
10:04 pm

JAR, You need to see the YouTube video of Morgan Freeman talking to Mike Wallace, “On Racism.”

Private Citizen

October 9th, 2012
10:12 pm

Specifically, Freeman has an opinion about how to get rid of racism. A more accurate search term is “Morgan Freeman On Black History Month.”

Parent

October 9th, 2012
10:14 pm

I applaud Davis’ decision. To every disgruntled parent at north Atlanta, you have your heads in the sand if think these administrators were doing an excellent job. They did not believe our kids were capable of high achievement which became self-fulfilling. Good riddance.

Rick L in ATL

October 9th, 2012
10:23 pm

Erroll, I championed you early and often, but if you keep trying to ram things down parents’ throats, CEO-style, after all we’ve already suffered through with APS, you’re going to end up with a lot of Eff You Erroll Charter Schools after the Nov. amendment passes. Because we’re starting to realize, with finality, that the only way this job is gonna get done better is if we wrest control of the process away from you and the educrats you’re leading. It really is a shame.

LEMAC

October 9th, 2012
10:32 pm

It has been very illuminating to follow tonight’s comments from a combination made up primarily of liberal bed wetters who simply blame all problems on the WHITE BUSINESS COMMUNITY or from academic types who resent the fact that any one would have the timmerity of testing academic profomance or having expectations of achieving exacting standards by teachers and/or administrators. My expectation of the November 6 vote tally from these respondants will be about 75% for Obama.

The criticism of Davis is coming from this peanut gallery and we owe him thanks for his stepping into this pile of ____ called the APS!

Rick L in ATL

October 9th, 2012
10:42 pm

@JAR the test scores, broken out by race, are what they are. Racism’s got nothing to do with it. One thing you need to realize about Obama’s post-racial America (and yes, I say that tongue in cheek because I’m afraid any subtlety is lost on you) is that nobody is going to be cowed by your bluster. If we want to talk about the iron-clad correlation between low-SES single-mom black households AND free/reduced price lunches AND dismal test scores, we’ll just talk about it in plain English. Your attempts to strong-arm us are tiresome and impotent, because everybody now sees that cries of racism in this context are just a diversion; more excuse-making.

Nothing the schools can do will improve the test scores of low-SES black and Hispanic students so long as those students’ families (read: their single moms) refuse to take education seriously. Black political and community leaders have utterly failed to incentivize educational achievement (or stigmatize poor performance) in their communities. It is no more racist to point out these statistical facts than it is to describe water as wet.

On the continuum of black ideology that runs from Al Sharpton to Bill Cosby, you have gone all Sharpton. That makes you the problem, dude. It’s not Whitey’s fault; it’s not Bush’s fault. Time for you to learn that.

Current NAHS Student

October 9th, 2012
10:52 pm

Yet again Erroll B. Davis disappoints. I spoke personally with Reuben McDaniel, and he failed to give me any real answers. Regardless, if North Atlanta is not achieving where it needs to, devoted employees of APS should not be treated in such a manner. Davis even went on to say that he had no knowledge of racist allegations which I find very hard to believe. It seems he cares very little about the North cluster of APS as such extreme measures are not being taken at any other APS high schools. To help us students with our anxiety over this issue, he has offered counseling services…As if that will really solve the problem here.

East Cobb Resident

October 9th, 2012
11:01 pm

Oh man, this is funny to watch. Sorry, I should be more sympathetic. Oh, APS always good for a knee slapper. Ha!

Bowmom

October 9th, 2012
11:10 pm

The APS Board of Education is a joke.
Please EVERYONE vote “YES” for House Resolution 1162 on your November 6 ballot! Hold APS accountable!!! Take all of the power out of thier hands and put it back into ours, where it belongs.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBYapImz–g&feature=youtube_gdata_player

rbh

October 9th, 2012
11:13 pm

Thanks for the hard work, Maureen.

Bowmom

October 9th, 2012
11:22 pm

I’m just curious as to where Nancy Meister is in all of this given the fact that she and Mark MyGrant have officially announced that, upon his retirement, they are going into the real estate business together as PARTNERS…meaning both names on one sign, listings together, etc. This whole thing is a crock.

NA mom

October 9th, 2012
11:22 pm

Sandy Springs Parent,

Were you the drunk lady that showed up on the question line tonight rambling incoherently?

Point/Counterpoint

October 9th, 2012
11:23 pm

@Rick L in Atlanta, you don’t live in the single moms homes, you assume a lot and lump them all in together. Should the rest of us that don’t know you assume that your home life is like Honey Boo Boo’s?

Ed Johnson

October 9th, 2012
11:26 pm

The APS Board of Education is a joke.

Please, EVERYONE vote “NO” for House Resolution 1162 on your November 6 ballot!

Vote “NO” to preserve your being able to hold APS accountable!!!

Keep all of the power out of the hands of privateers of public education and keep it in your own hands, where it belongs.

http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000109398

Bowmom

October 9th, 2012
11:28 pm

@Ed Johnson
A “YES” vote will do just that, not a “no” one. Your comment is highly misleading.

Ed Johnson

October 9th, 2012
11:32 pm

@Bowmon
A “NO” vote will do just that, not a “yes” one. Your comment is highly misleading.

Bowmom

October 9th, 2012
11:42 pm

@Ed Johnson
Lol. You’ve got to be kidding, obviously, or just very misinformed. I’m not going down this road with you. I would just encourage everyone to research HR 1162 through You Tube, Google, or any other source and make an educated choice.
I’m going to vote “YES” to keep the ultimate power away from APS and in the voter’s hands.

Kris

October 10th, 2012
12:05 am

A vote for this shady deal will mean more people like Davis running your schools with the non caring compassion Error showed tonight. With little or none caring about the students or teacher welfare. The bottom line is the bottom line, Education be dammed make money. You will see many many Friday firings with little or no reason.

Vote No on this scam.

Southside Parent

October 10th, 2012
12:16 am

Bowmom: Ed Johnson’s point is that the state chartered schools won’t be accountable to you at all. They will only be accountable to an appointed agency of the governor. So if you don’t like the accountability you hear now, this would be worse.

Former APS student

October 10th, 2012
12:28 am

This school hasn’t been making adequate progress on 5 years. Scores are low yes I said lower than other high schools in the immediate area and the graduAtion rates are horrific. As far as I’m concern north atlant is performing well below it’s potential. Parents should be raising hell when see the numbers instead of raising hell over how a bunch of underperforming admimistrators was let go! Parents and students need to know the history of north Atlanta and the EXCELLENT institutions it was created form-North Fulton and Northside high school. North A Tanya is a shell of what those were. North Atlanta can do better!

Mays ,Douglass Jackson Washington and south Atlanta needs to be next . Clean the deadweight out!!!! Our children are depending on you, Mr. Davis!

NA mom

October 10th, 2012
12:37 am

Okay, why did Mygrant show up, walk halfway into the gym, wave a couple of times and then walk out?

How immature and bizarre.

North ATL mom

October 10th, 2012
12:51 am

Errol Davis should resign. Even if he had legitimate reasons for removing these administrators (and I have seen no evidence should such reasons exist), how he handled the removal was disgraceful and unbecoming of a superintendent of a large-city school system. I suspect personal grievances were at play here.

CharterStarter, Too

October 10th, 2012
1:02 am

Charter school boards control the schools. These boards are made up of local parents, teachers, and community members – and they are accountable to their stakeholders. The state would only authorize on appeal and oversee achievement, legal and regulatory compliance, and fiscal stewardship.

The Hammer

October 10th, 2012
4:09 am

If anyone reads through this, here are the statistics for scores on the GHSGT for North Atlanta High School, broken out by various demographics:

http://reportcard2011.gaosa.org/(S(oyjsb2qzs05vexnp2qmygems))/k12/reports.aspX?ID=761:192&TestKey=HS&TestType=qcc

jw

October 10th, 2012
4:35 am

@Atlanta Native….
Why don’t all those with the means to do so send their kids to private schools?

Either….
They are deeper in debt than they appear.
Or…
Their sweet angel didn’t make the cut for private school admission (or got asked to leave).
Or….
The precious child WHINED and REFUSED and just HAD to be with their friends at the public school…and the parental units caved.

APS Fam

October 10th, 2012
6:18 am

Or…
The parents thought it was a great savings of $60,000 a year (3 children) that could be used to take their children on educational vacations to France, Spain, etc. and cater their educational needs to each child individually with outside activities/classes simply using APS as a supplement.

The Hammer

October 10th, 2012
7:29 am

[J]w, it very well could be that there is some large number of wealthy people who, for whatever reason, believe in the public school system, and see good results. Look at the test score statistics for the White students at North Atlanta High School. They perform quite well, even when compared to the best schools of East Cobb. The parents very well may be of the opinion that “diversity” is important, and private school is a way to avoid the real world. Not that I agree with these opinions, nor is this some large majority of the wealthier White residents in the North Atlanta school zone, but I guarantee you they are there.

Bill Mackinnon

October 10th, 2012
7:29 am

This was a poorly delivered “check the box” event. Dr Davis offered little information and was set to have an “unsatisfactory discussion” and that is what it was. There are questions he needed to answer: What is his vision for North Atlanta High School? (and how is Dr. Taylor uniquely qualified to achieve that vision? he gave a partial answer but no details) Why, if North Atlanta’s performance issues, were known in the Spring, did he ask Mark Mygrant to stay until the new principal cam on board? What provisions were made to facilitate the dual transition-elimination of the current administration and interim plan, and how will Dr. Taylor be introduced to the North Atlanta High School community? Dr. Davis had a golden opportunity to turn this community into a supportive asset to the transition to a new administration, and he blew it. He should fire his communication coach for dereliction of duty

Maureen Downey

October 10th, 2012
7:49 am

@Bill, Not sure who should be fired but would argue that the failure of APS to foresee the tidal wave of anger that this move — which I think now even Erroll Davis would admit was poorly handled — reflects a deep disconnect. Also, talked after the meeting for nearly two hours with folks and have to ask: With other schools with higher failure rates and other more pressing problems, why start with North Atlanta? He never addressed the issue of sending eight administrators, including the head of gifted and talented programs, which, I understand, were just revamped, to a single high school.
Maureen

Maureen Downey

October 10th, 2012
7:53 am

@The Hammer, The North Atlanta students who spoke last night, and they were black and white, were smart, articulate and passionate. I have no doubt that kids are getting a great education there. The school sends many kids to top colleges around the country.
The contention by Davis that student success is not universal at NAHS is true for every high school. Still don’t see how these four administrators are to blame. Nor do I think a new principal, no matter how talented, can change this situation on his own. It is a systematic problem that will take more than just high school reform.
Under performance of high school kids reflects a lot of things, including k-8 education.

Entitlement Society

October 10th, 2012
7:56 am

@Does Anyone Really Care – Right on! I’ve been saying the same thing about North Atlanta being a failing school. No wonder Davis went in to clean house. MyGrant had 5 years to clean it up and failed. Really, a Buckhead school, where only 6 out of 10 students even graduate? That’s not even looking at the pathetic test scores. How can this school sit in the middle of Buckhead with loads of involved parents and have such abysmal performance year after year? That’s why my kids will never set foot inside. Now MyGrant is free to go be real estate buddies with Nancy Meister and peddle condos along Lenox Rd where she sold the Sarah Smith District down the river.

Dana F. Blankenhorn

October 10th, 2012
8:06 am

There were three main schools at NAHS. The IB program, which is the best college prep in the region. The arts program, which lost its status as a magnet and has been drifting. And the school of “would you like fries with that,” where most NAHS kids have gone.

APS starved the last school, and now Davis blames the administrators for that failure. The result is you lose the only thing about the school that was any good and have to start a new school from scratch.

No one asked what the new school would be. How would its curriculum be different? What resources would it have the old school didn’t? Instead, everyone’s obsessed with who is or isn’t running the thing. Wrong question.

NA mom

October 10th, 2012
8:28 am

In addition, there were several embarrassing displays by Mygrant supporters who stood in line simply to ask the same question that had been already answered a dozen times before or stood in line to hurle a personal insult at Mr. Davis.

It was embarrassing on their part, but Mr. Davis stood his ground, was polite and handled this angry mob surprisingly well.

Bill Mackinnon

October 10th, 2012
8:31 am

@Maureen 7:49am Agreed about the deep discontent. I have twins class of ‘09 who have had their struggles in college. I spoke with some of the parents I met while at NAHS and there are apparently accusations of racism extant, leading to a Request for Information currently. Dr. Davis was asked about this and he dissembled in his answer “lots of these requests” and a whole staff to handle them. I think this was ultimately a personnel issue and explosive, hence the every quick exit of the staff. I do not dispute the AYP and other measures cited, and I will still maintain that Dr. Davis could have organized his remarks to encourage the”passions” he referred to to get focused on the vision he was unable to articulate, assuming he had one. BTW, he said he ran a Fortune 1000 company, not a Fortune 500 company. It was an opportunity he missed and handled in a very defensive way, although with an outward calm. I wonder how hard his hard was beating. Got to go to work now.

APS Fam

October 10th, 2012
8:35 am

I would love to be at NAHS right now showing my support to the students. If any one knows what’s going on there today, please fill us in on the events and the atmosphere. Erroll Davis and the APS Board…you did wrong. Period.

NA mom

October 10th, 2012
8:36 am

” Look at the test score statistics for the White students at North Atlanta High School. They perform quite well, even when compared to the best schools of East Cobb.”

Most of the white students are in the IS/IB program.

The black, Asian and hispanic students that are in the IS/IB program at North Atlanta perform “quite well” also.

The problem is that the rest of the students are largely ignored. Resources are poured into IB/IS and everyone else (largely black and Hispanic students) are ignored.

That is really disgusting. Mark Mygrant and his team did fail MOST of the school.

indigo

October 10th, 2012
8:39 am

Are all or mostly all of the dismissed administrators white? Will all, or mostly all of the replacements be black?

Just asking.

NA mom

October 10th, 2012
8:40 am

“Look at the test score statistics for the White students at North Atlanta High School. They perform quite well, even when compared to the best schools of East Cobb. ”

Most of the white students at North Atlanta are in the IS/IB program.

Similarly, the black, Asian, and Hispanic students who are in the IS/IB program perform “quite well.”

Most of the school resources and the energy of the PTA are aimed at providing opportunities for the IS/IB students.

Everyone else gets ignored.

Mr. Mygrant and his staff were charged with the responsiblity of educating ALL of North Atlanta’s students and they failed.

Good riddance to them.

whynot

October 10th, 2012
8:43 am

Why can’t he share personnel matters with the ones who pay his salary – the taxpayers? I don’t understand that comment at all.

Bob

October 10th, 2012
8:48 am

Atlanta Native, this statement seems to show you to be an ignorant native ” It baffles me to see these affluent parents, who have endless resources at their disposal, shaking their fists and protesting at a public school. Bizarre.” So if you are part of the group that pays the bulk of the taxes you are “bizarre” to protest failed policies and failing schools ? It is not the children of these parents that are dragging the school into the crapper, it is the kids of the parents that could care less about the school as long as the school provides meals and babysitting services their spawn. Why should someone pay 15K a year in property tax and let people come in and screw things up ? Bizarre are those that think if you are successful you should sit back and pay the tab for those that do not do what it takes to be successful. WE did build that and we will not sit back and let those that could care less about anything screw it up.

No Dog in the Fight

October 10th, 2012
8:48 am

I’m just spit-ballin here, but could it be possible that some bused-in-kids’ parents complained of rascism?
From the comments I’ve read, it seems no one has ANY idea why this happened.
On the other hand, if NAHS is supposed to be the flagship school, maybe APS really CANNOT afford to let the test scores and grad rates drop further because the overall school system average will suffer……Just sayin.

Jennifer Dharling

October 10th, 2012
8:48 am

“Are all or mostly all of the dismissed administrators white? Will all, or mostly all of the replacements be black?”

No, they were a mixture of different folks.

Entitlement Society

October 10th, 2012
8:52 am

Questions for all of the North Atlanta supporters unhappy with Davis… he said, “From 2007 to 2011, this school did not make AYP. Now, it is an NI-4 school, which means under some level of state monitoring and reporting.” and is now positioning a new leadership team to raise the bar and increase the level of performance at North Atlanta. What kind of example are you setting for your children with all of this whining and complaining? Shouldn’t you model for your children how to embrace change in the pursuit of a better education for all at North Atlanta? Shame on all of you public school proponents bashing this sup who’s trying to ensure that both the have and the have-nots get the same quality education at North Atlanta because the current system under MyGrant obviously wasn’t working. Davis has stated that the changes are to make this underperfoming high school better. Why question what he’s doing at other schools? How does that impact you and your children? Shouldn’t you be thankful that your school is getting attention and action towards improvement?

Big Mama

October 10th, 2012
8:52 am

Did anyone ask about the status of the IB program? Will it continue and be supported by APS? Does anyone sense there is an attempt to dismantle IB?

Jennifer Dharling

October 10th, 2012
8:54 am

“Look at the test score statistics for the White students at North Atlanta High School. They perform quite well, even when compared to the best schools of East Cobb”

The white students are largely in the IB/IS SLC.

The black, Asian, and Hispanic students who are in the IB/IS SLC and have go on to Ivy league universities and top liberal arts colleges.

The problem is the children who are not in IB/IS are given 2nd class resources and get 2nd class results and apparently nobody in Mygrant’s administration cared enough to change that.

Mygrant was the principal of the entire school and his administration failed most of the school.

AMcATL

October 10th, 2012
9:03 am

I took my child to school today and wanted to cry when she got out of the car! I have never knowingly sent my child into a battle ground. Her team has a volleyball tournament today and she did not want to miss school. It is sickening that APS is a disaster and disgrace to the citizens of Atlanta. I pray over and with my child this morning! One thing is for certain….my younger children will not set foot in an Atlanta Public School until they get their stuff together. Fulton and Cobb County may not be perfect but that is where my little people will be! This is one tax payer that the city of Atlanta has lost!

Jennifer Dharling

October 10th, 2012
9:06 am

In fact, if we broke down the tests scores per SLC, we probably would see that the black and Hispanic kids in IB/IS outperformed their white counterparts in the same SLC.

I know personally that the black and Hispanic children in NAHS’ last graduating class went to better colleges and universities than their white counterparts and I know that many of these children came from single parent/working class homes whereas their white counterparts came from wealthy 2-parent homes.

So the issue is not one of one race outperforming another. It is an issue of how the resources have been distributed at NAHS.

Namely, most of the children at that school have been largely ignored while most of the time and resources have gone to the IB/IS program.

It is a literal heirarchy, with the IB/IS program literally at the top of the school.

Jennifer Dharling

October 10th, 2012
9:07 am

“Did anyone ask about the status of the IB program? Will it continue and be supported by APS? Does anyone sense there is an attempt to dismantle IB?”

Yes, this question was asked and Mr. Davis stated that the program will continue and that he wants to “expand’ it.

APS Fam

October 10th, 2012
9:09 am

@buckheadbetty
Amen, sister! Erroll Davis, Nancy Meister, AND, especially, Reuben McDanielle MUST go!

APS Fam

October 10th, 2012
9:16 am

Just to put it out there…
Please, someone, run against N. Meister! You will have a lot of support both monetarily and otherwise! You must be out there somewhere and are desperately needed to replace our current back-door-dealing, corrupt, and out for her own personal gain representative.

Entitlement Society

October 10th, 2012
9:19 am

I’ll second that. Anyone except Nancy Meister. In my dealings with her, I have been extremely disappointed. Very poor representation for we the taxpayers.

KB

October 10th, 2012
9:24 am

According to an AJC article posted last night, “MyGrant said the removal dealt with charges of racism against two staff members he hired last year. He delivered 25 pages of documents to the central office Tuesday that he said would exonerate him and the other administrators.”

These documents are at the heart of the matter. Can the AJC request copies of them?

The Hammer

October 10th, 2012
9:38 am

@Jennifer Dharling:

I’m glad someone finally pointed out how the school has seemed to be failing the more “marginal” students. This can best be seen by looking at the test scores of Hispanic students over the past three years. In fact, the precipitous drop in their mathematics scores *IS* is a sign of a school failing the “general population”. Or, is it the “general population” failing the school? I might be one to contend that the more affluent (and talented) Hispanics have moved out of their apartments, and relocated to Gwinnett County (and, likewise, the Black parents who are capable, have relocated elsewhere, including houses in Cobb, Gwinnett, etc.)

SO, could these continued drops in test scores be the result of a changing demographics of the minority population in the school zone? Has anyone bothered to ask, and try to answer these questions?

dirt lot baby

October 10th, 2012
9:56 am

Maureen wrote: The contention by Davis that student success is not universal at NAHS is true for every high school. Still don’t see how these four administrators are to blame. Nor do I think a new principal, no matter how talented, can change this situation on his own. It is a systematic problem that will take more than just high school reform.
Under performance of high school kids reflects a lot of things, including k-8 education.

Maureen – Please refer to J.Dharling’s comment that the NAHS admins didn’t do squat to equally distribute the resources at the school. This happens at my kid’s HS – best teachers, lion’s share of PTA funding for afterschool clubs, even text books, class materials, etc., go to the chosen academy that the white parents control and steer their kids into (often over the kids objection). Resources are unevenly distributed, as are the kids themselves based upon perceived ability. Everyone knows how the academies stack out intellectually and which ones are the dumping grounds for the abject students and teachers – a deadly combination unless you’re trying to run them into dropping out or at least quarantining them for 4 years. The admin does what it can but~

There was a NY Times editorial that bar none the best thing to raise lower kids up was true integration. And that is NOT what happens in any APS high school as far as I’ve ever heard and read and witnessed. And APS school board members and their puppeteers are complicit in this, and why many of them were diehard Bev.Hall supporters to the absolute bitter end. She enabled their socioe-economic balkanization of schools, and they in turn gave her serious political firepower support which they try to bleed into city council. The small school acadamies accomplish two major APS goals – internal segregation to keep the whites happy, and a whole new raft of overpaid admin positions to slot cronies into.

So why do i send my kid to public v private? For her to understand what the real world is like and for me a $30k/yr savings for out of state tuition.

Laura

October 10th, 2012
9:57 am

@ Big Mama – Yes, I asked specifically about the IB continuing, but it was right when Mr. Mygrant walked in, so you may have missed it… I asked if he saw the IB continuing under his vision of the “New Day” at NAHS, and if parents will be a part in the planning for the New vision. He said that yes, he IB would continue, and then he spoke about a collaborative process with the new principal, etc. I then re asked “so you are saying that you will continue to see the IB being at North Atlanta.” His response: “absolutely.” (sorry about the incorrect grammar – I was nervous)

Solutions

October 10th, 2012
10:02 am

The whole premise on which educational accomplishments are evaluated is wrong. Poverty does not cause stupidity, but stupidity does indeed cause poverty. I suspect the white people in administration and teaching at North Atlanta High will be replaced by black people. Bonuses will be given to the new people for the slightest improvement in student performance. I suspect the students who have the ability and the resources will transfer to private schools ASAP. Of course, any failures or further declines in test scores will be laid at the doorstep of the recently departed people. Have the SAT scores declined for the top 10% of seniors over the last five years (the top scoring 10% on the SAT, not based on class rank)? That to me is a better measure of school performance.

Jennifer Dharling

October 10th, 2012
10:03 am

“I suspect the white people in administration and teaching at North Atlanta High will be replaced by black people. ”

I have no idea why you would expect those things.

The new principal is white. So what?

Jennifer Dharling

October 10th, 2012
10:04 am

And no, stupidity does not cause poverty.

We live in a capitalistic society, there will always be a large number of poor people and a minority of wealthy people.

APS Fam

October 10th, 2012
10:33 am

Let’s not lose focus on the real problem here, which is the non-transparency and the ruthless and thoughtless behavior of APS. I’m not saying NAHS doesn’t need improvement or that house cleaning is a bad idea, but how it was done is incorrigible! Number one, I seriously doubt the folks that were made to leave out of the blue on the drop of a dime are the cause of the problem, and MyGrant had retired anyway. As far as I can see, there has been no sufficient explanation of why it was done this way. All of the answers I see just change the subject and focus.

Bill Mackinnon

October 10th, 2012
10:39 am

Correction to my comments at 8:31 am: That should be agreed about the disconnect, not discontent, although both are accurate. If the truth is that AYP and other measures are as described, then changes should be made. NAHS should be the premier school in APS because it has the resources: IS/IB program, a diverse student body, a great group of teachers (mostly, like all the other APS schools, and the most powerful resource involved and engaged parents. Dr. Davis wants it to be the premier school because with these resources, changes will happen more quickly, more bang for the buck. He could have done a much better job of outlining his vision for NAHS and clarifying the poor decision to dump the Administration team. ONe comment about institutional knowledge above was right on the money.

KIM

October 10th, 2012
10:56 am

Enter your comments hereSomething is not right here. Dr. Davis sounds like he is treading water poorly. Good luck, students. You’ve got a power struggle here and it will continue with new principal.What a mess for the kids.

KIM

October 10th, 2012
11:02 am

I do have one question. Did Dr. Davis bother to explain to the public at the meeting how graduation rates are calculated? No. And that is part of the transparency issue: he is using data to make a case and he needs the public to be ignorant of the state’s calculation process. Otherwise, the audience would know NAHS is NOT failing. Not at all. Too bad that the new principal has already set himself up for criticism by saying he wants a clean slate of administrators. Arrogance? Ignorance? Narcissistic? Hmm…wondering,

Carlos

October 10th, 2012
11:17 am

It’s possible that Superintendent Davis is correct and an entirely new leadership is needed at the school; but it’s also possible that, after going deeper into the data with the administrators on the ground, the problems don’t lie at the feet of the existing administrators. That’s why there ought to have been fair process of evaluation in place long before this train wreck occurred.

When a principal and his entire staff don’t even know why they’ve been abruptly dismissed, there’s a problem with process and communication within the district leadership.

A brittle, authoritarian, heirarchical, administrative model got the Atlanta schools where they are today. If we want a good school system where responsible adults want to work, then the Superintendent and his staff cannot be allowed to treat principals and school staffs as if they were children; and principals and their school staffs cannot be allowed to treat teachers as children.

As it is now, an unnecessary mess has been created for the new principal BECAUSE unbridled authority was exercised by, perhaps, one person or only a few people. Maybe the head of HR should be sacrificed for failing to require due process prior to what took place. A brain rather than a rubber stamp was needed here. And maybe rules for proper due process were already in place but ignored.

RedBear

October 10th, 2012
11:25 am

Just checked my 10th grader out of NAHS for the day. If APS will treat their administrators the way they did, what will they do to to unruly students?

Maureen Downey

October 10th, 2012
11:28 am

C Jae of EAV

October 10th, 2012
12:34 pm

The most telling statement from Mr. Davis for me was the following:

“It’s not a sin to be in the middle of the pack. But I don’t want that to be the standard for North Atlanta High School. With the kind of commitment, with the resources that are available in this community, this school should be at the head of the pack.”

The way I read that statement it suggests that Mr. Davis and his supporting staff has differing expectations of student performance based on where they reside, thus he may be less concerned by the level of chronic under performance exhibited by other schools on the south-side of the district. Quite and interesting statemet in my view.

Jennifer Dharling

October 10th, 2012
12:38 pm

“The way I read that statement it suggests that Mr. Davis and his supporting staff has differing expectations of student performance based on where they reside, thus he may be less concerned by the level of chronic under performance exhibited by other schools on the south-side of the district. Quite and interesting statemet in my view.”

You must have missed the part where he said that eventually all schools will be measured by the same standards.

But with NAHS current resources, they should not be failing to meet AYP and be at the middle or close to the bottom of the pack.

This is all true stuff.

C Jae of EAV

October 10th, 2012
12:48 pm

As I read down further and I see that Mr. Davis also offers up the following comment in responce to questions from the crowd:

“This should be our premier school in this city,” (referring to North Atlanta)

I’m even more concerned about the perspective with which Mr. Davis is conducting his job. What does it say about him that believe that NAHS in particular “should be the premier school in APS”. What does that say of Grady, Jackson, Carver or Mays? Are we not to strive to have all of the HS in APS be of superior quality? Are we simply writing off areas of town as not deserving of the same level of concern he’s voicing concerning NAHS?

Let me be clear, I have no beef with improving the standing of NAHS. What I’m questioning is the substance of Mr.Davis’ comments to the extent they suggest he doesn’t have equal level of concern over improving the performance of other HS across APS. Its like because NAHS is not the #1 HS in his eyes all is not right in the world. Very interesting commentary for Mr. Davis to put on the public record.

Sandy Springs Parent

October 10th, 2012
12:57 pm

No I was not at the meeting and not the drunk lady at the mic. I am not one of the Buckhead lady wine drinkers. lol.

If you take out the line jumpers and those not residing in the district, the passing rates are quite high. How can a school be blamed for those who are comming to the school out of district. When one can bet it is Central district that won’t let them clamp down on those of color who are cheating the school zoned lines.

@ Atlanta Native, their are a good contigent of Yankee’s here that were brought down by the major companies from up North, the Midwest or California. We don’t want to live out in the the Bible Thumping fuax suburbs. We want to live in town. We all grew up being able to go to public school. We went to great public schools. Our siblings up north who are our peers Doctor’s, lawyer’s etc., CFO’s send their kids to Public Schools.Even our friends who went to college with send their kids to public schools in Willamsburg, Va, Fairfax, Co. Va,. We believe, in public school education that it should be available for everyone rich and poor, the middle class. That no one should be forced out of the public school. We pay the property tax, we pay $ 7,500 and up a year. When people in the suburbs complain about paying $3,000 a year we laugh. We are willing to volunteer and work in the public school. We expect every parent to volunteer in the public school.

We are not their to pay for everyone else’s children. I only have two children, whom I had in my 30’s when I could afford them. People need to use birth control or abstence and stop having children that they can not afford. The Black Churches need to stop denying the moral behavior of its comunity and preach responsibility. They need to offer parenting classes. They don’t need a big show on Sunday of hair styles, a mother takes care of her children and buys her clothes and a thrift store.

Yesterday 3 children conned $5 each out of my 12 year old on the premise that they needed it to pay their library book fines. That is bullying. Now my daughter doesn’t have her bookfair money. These 3 were 3 Black and Hispanic Free lunchers. What have their parents taught them. Mooch off the white kids that pay for their lunch.

Maureen Downey

October 10th, 2012
12:58 pm

@C Jae, He made that point several times, citing the resources of the community and the commitment to the school by parents. I don’t think he was talking about what APS puts into schools, which must be equitable, but what that community brings.
But I can tell you that several people from other schools at the meeting last night told me they were troubled by those comments as well.
Maureen

C Jae of EAV

October 10th, 2012
1:08 pm

@Jennifer Dharling – The additional aspect of Mr. Davis’ statement you pointed me to is a very empty platitude. Honestly, if I were a parent with a child at Jackson or Mays or South Atlanta, I personally would question Mr. Davis’ commitment to improve the standard of performance at my school.

I understand the level of resources at NAHS place it in an advantagous position, however the core of Mr. Davis’ statements combined with the his actions leading to those statement come together to call his motives and intent into question. This is the essence of my point. I don’t think student performance was the reason he took this action. I believe that’s a smoke screen and his statements as published in this blog suggest as such.

shaking my head

October 10th, 2012
1:44 pm

@Does Anyone Really Care? +1 and kudos on the comments I was there last night and had NAHS not received an exemption for AYP this year and was taking over by the State next year, all hell would have broke loose

it’s tough but eventually, you have to rip off the band-aid and let things heal and start the rebuilding process…he made the right decision and unfortunately, his timing was not ideal…funny how people will endure failing teachers and administrators for years, but stay on a call with Comcast for hours if their cable is out

Maureen Downey

October 10th, 2012
1:58 pm

@shaking, The state has never indicated that it would take over any schools. In fact, last year the AJC reported that APS had schools found to be cheating that now could be eligible for state takeover under No Child because they did not make AYP.
Erroll Davis was not happy with that characterization of the situation and offered a different view of the state’s role at that time:
From the story:

Atlanta Superintendent Erroll Davis said the state legally has the flexibility to intervene in failing schools. But he said he has spoken to state Superintendent John Barge and believes the state’s role will be more supportive.

“I welcome the increased presence. It will be people with experience in these types of situations, and obviously we need help and experience, ” he said. “But neither I nor Superintendent Barge want the image conveyed that he is riding in to take over our schools.”

shaking my head

October 10th, 2012
2:00 pm

@Sandy Springs Parent like it or not taxes subsidize education for all children, so you do pay for all children indirectly…not sure what you are referring to about the affordability of children, but I agree in general the nation should be more concerned with rising birth rates of our youth…and note to you, they are not all black…ever watch Teen Mom?…so to state that “The Black Churches need to stop denying the moral behavior of its comunity and preach responsibility” implies that this is only a “black” problem and that everyone goes to church…i’m sure that you have white friends (which I’ll assume you are based on your references to color) that do not go to church, but if not then news flash, every black person in america is not a bible-toting, church-going, baby-having, stylish-hair wearing drain on society…it’s funny how you want to put the weight on the church…no organization, religious, or other wise, is responsible for the accountability that a person chooses to accept or not….not schools, not churches, not government…stop it with the race baiting and fear mongering…as for the money, i’m sorry to hear that…you should set a meeting with the parents of the students and get the money back

shaking my head

October 10th, 2012
2:06 pm

@maureen whether they decided to take it over or just be more supportive the fact that they have the legal authority to do so would be a cause for concern if my child went there (oldest is 6 but we’re thinking about moving into the district and thus my interest)…the fact that it would not be officially “taken over” is really just word play…i would not enroll my child in a school that has not met standards for 6 years (including this years gracious exemption) and under state “presence”, and I can’t imagine many other parents would either

woodrow

October 10th, 2012
2:24 pm

Here is my assessment. Erroll Davis is responsible for these performance issues and should be fired also. The sooner the better. Nobody wants him. Nobody trusts him. He is a pariah in his current post.

shaking my head

October 10th, 2012
4:50 pm

@woodrow he’s only been in the post for a about a year give or take a few months, so how is he responsible for 5 consecutive years of failure to meet AYP?…

unhappy

October 10th, 2012
7:37 pm

My son did a year at North Atlanta and we could not get him out fast enough. During parent /teacher conferences, the teachers came unprepared with no knowledge of my son or who he was. One teacher lost his grades and admittedly made them up. One teacher’s English was so bad that my husband and I could not understand her on the phone and my son could not understand her in class. I complained about both and my answer was that the kids will get used to him. My son went onto another school where he had to repeat French 1 after a year at North Atlanta. He had no idea of what he learned there and this is a child with a high IQ and learning ability. There is no control of what is going on over there. I applaud APS.
My son told me there are kids selling all kinds of drugs there, kids smoking pot in the locker rooms and kids constantly skipping school with no apparent school acknowledgement of the staff.
I for one am thinking this change will maybe a good thing

crankee-yankee

October 10th, 2012
7:58 pm

Davis: They were transferred under standard protocol. Ran Fortune 1000 company. That is how we do it.

Understanding that is a paraphrase but still points to a certain arrogance on his part. Sounds like a typical business answer that would work in a business setting. However, what business types do not understand is a school is not a business. Schools do not turn out widgets. Turning out people requires a different mindset.

Maureen Downey

October 10th, 2012
8:02 pm

@crankee: I did talk to Davis after the meeting about the immediate confiscation of the administrators’ computers Friday afternoon. He also called that standard protocol to prevent distraught or angry employees from damaging the computers or sensitive data. I would assume that is a standard precaution when folks are fired.
But is it standard to take computers from employees who are merely reassigned?
My understanding is that the administrators got their computers back this week but I still think it is insulting to take away computers from employees who are moving to new jobs. I have never seen that in any company for which I worked. Computers are seized when people are fired but not transferred.
Maureen

crankee-yankee

October 10th, 2012
8:11 pm

Maureen, I agree with you wholeheartedly. I have seen a few administrators “reassigned” and have never heard of confiscated computers. I know in Gwinnett, as a matter of course, computers do not travel with employees when they transfer to another building. Their old computer is left behind and they get a “new” one when they report to the school. But all the admins I know usually take their current machines home & to the new job until they get the new machine as it can take a few days to accomplish the issuance.

Confiscating a machine only tells me they were looking for something, looking to delete something or both.

Former APS student

October 10th, 2012
8:22 pm

@Entitlement Society

Exactley….The students and parents that came to the board meeting and are the ones who are involved in their education. but there are many children that are being left behind at that school. those are the ones who wasnt present at that meeting the ones that Dr. Davis is speaking about. These are the children that are being LEFT BEHIND. There is NO WAY this school whos demographics are simular to Roswell Northsprings Riverwood in Fulton County should be performing like this, as I said in my previous post. Parents should be raising hell about the low test scores instead of raising hell about how and why these administrators was reassigned. Whether you like it or not, these people rode the lack luster reputation of North Atlanta and did NOTHING to improve the education of ALL it students while they was there. They need to be dismissed. The way that it was done is alright me because they did nothing to improve that school.

Prof

October 10th, 2012
8:38 pm

@ crankee-yankee. Ah, but the system’s servers will preserve computer documents even if they are deleted from the computer. And a public school system’s servers belong to the public domain. Computer forensics, remember?

crankee-yankee

October 10th, 2012
9:01 pm

Prof
October 10th, 2012
8:38 pm

True enough, so I guess we are left with them keeping them out of their hands to deny them access to any files on those machines.

crankee-yankee

October 10th, 2012
9:05 pm

However, if these guys were smart, and there truly was something damaging of which they had access, they would have a thumb drive somewhere.

Truth in Moderation

October 10th, 2012
9:18 pm

@Sandy Springs Parent
You’re a hoot! Normally I avoid “transplanted” (the nice word) Yankees, and have removed myself to the “Bible Thumping fuax suburbs” where the top SAT scoring school in Georgia (#38 nationally) resides. I must admit though, that the loud thumping out here keeps me awake some nights. Anyway, now that the rust belt has made further inroads up North, I guess the great weather and cheap real-estate in Dixieland looked too good to resist. Unfortunately, the Rockefeller/Wall Street overflow that was funding your nice public schools up North didn’t follow your coattails. Down South, we pay our own way. Quite often, public schools are charity schools. That’s the way it should be, unless you enjoy living in a Socialist monopoly. The current NAHS brouhaha was predictable, although a tad more extreme than in the past. Keep living your pipe dream of “equality for all”. By the way, your writing imitation of a typical illiterate Southerner was a nice touch. “We believe, in public school education that it should be available for everyone rich and poor, the middle class.” That amazing attempt at writing a coherent sentence had me in stitches!

kkg

October 10th, 2012
9:56 pm

Regarding Davis’s notion of accountability, I am surprised that no one has mentioned the fact that he served on the board of directors of BP for 12 years, resigning just 5 days before the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. During his last 6 months, right before the biggest oil spill ever in the US, he was on BP’s safety, ethics, and environment assurance committee!
http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/stories/2010/06/21/story1.html?page=all

JAR

October 10th, 2012
10:28 pm

@Rick L in Atl – Thanks for presenting yourself as a perfect example of one of the misinformed, incorrigibly stupid and racist buffoons that I ‘ve written about in recent blogs.

JAR

October 10th, 2012
11:13 pm

@Private Citizen – Morgan Freeman is an excellent Hollywood actor. Evidently, I am diametrically opposed to his philosophy on dealing with racism.

Good question!

October 11th, 2012
12:39 am

The most telling question of the night came from a student who asked when Mr. Davis had last been in a classroom at NAHS, and he responded that he had not ever been in a classroom. It’s hard to know the full story from a behind a desk looking at a bunch of statistics. We all recognize that standardized test scores don’t begin to tell the full story of student achievement. The challenges here are more complex than at any other high school in the district, and it just might have been worth his time to get a little closer to the situation. Interestingly enough, the new principal’s school has also not met AYP. Both schools are trending upward and improving – the difference is he wasn’t willing to admit that this is the case for North Atlanta. The top 20 students from last year’s graduating class are an incredibly diverse group,attending amazing universities. So the truth is that if you want to be in IB and succeed, you can, regardless of race. You just have to be willing to work for it because it is rigorous, but it has been made available to the whole school. It is sad that the conversation inevitably goes down the path of race baiting. The 6 feeder schools that make up North Atlanta are racially and economically diverse and therein lies the beauty of the school. It is what makes this school unique and we wouldn’t trade our experience here for any other school public or private. I am extremely tired though of inept APS leadership, and this is just another case of extremely poor decision making and I don’t know what else. BTW, Sandy Springs parent, you are a complete moron! Don’t you have something else more productive you could be doing like filing your nails?

Doug Frutiger

October 12th, 2012
1:24 pm

Like Errol Davis, who admits that he has never been in a classroom at North Atlanta High School, it is easy to sit in judgement when one is looking at an indicator like AYP. They made it, they didn’t. That’s easy, but unless one understands how AYP is calculated they are as ignorant about what is going on at North Atlanta High School as is our superintendent.

Under AYP, if a school is lucky the have no diversity. In that case, there scores onj exams are the statistical average of the score of the whole student body. However, for a diverse student body, AYP must be calculated for each sub-group within the student body. Consequently, if you have a number of subgroups, each subgroup must make adequate yearly progress on their test scores. If a school has 20 Hispanic students in the 11th grade, for example, who do not make AYP, the school does not make AYP, regardless of what is happening in the rest of the school.

If one were to look at the AYP data for North Atlanta High School,they would not make blanket statements like “the school hasn’t made AYP in four years and parents and students are upset about a change of leadership.”

Top School

October 14th, 2012
3:16 am

Buckhead Business Community is behind this…
they will let Erroll take the blame.