The AJC education team has been working overtime to sort through APS school chief’s Erroll Davis’ comments last night at North Atlanta High School.
One of the most startling things that the superintendent told the parents and students: The Buckhead high school noted for its high-achieving International Baccalaureate program had been in danger of state takeover due to failing to make Adequate Yearly Progress for four years.
Davis’ repeated references to AYP seemed odd because Georgia is no longer under the No Child left Behind yoke, having won a waiver from the law’s accountability levers.
However, had the state not escaped No Child, North Atlanta High was still not at risk of a state takeover because Georgia has never gotten into the business of taking control of schools.
According to the AJC: (This is an excerpt. Please read the full story before commenting.)
“We don’t take over schools in Georgia,” said Matt Cardoza, spokesman for the Georgia Department of Education.
At a community meeting Tuesday night attended by hundreds, Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Erroll Davis told North Atlanta High parents that under the state’s old accountability system the Buckhead school could have been “seized” by officials because of failure to meet academic goals. That system was ditched this year in favor of a new system of evaluating schools, which shows North Atlanta High is in good standing.
But Davis said he stands by his assertion that the state would have essentially taken over the school by playing a larger role in the day-to-day functions. He said no matter how takeover is defined, it is indisputable that the school for years had trouble meeting state academic requirements.
“The issue here is not semantics of what takeover means,” he said. “The issue to me is why on earth is a school like North Atlanta in this status to begin with.”
Davis said the school, which is located in one of Atlanta’s most affluent communities, is underperforming. He cited a sluggish graduation rate and new student growth data, which shows the school is slightly above average in terms of how much students are learning in a year.
–from Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog