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.