I am unsure about Erroll Davis’ future as leader of APS after tonight’s decision by the Atlanta school board to hold off on extending his contract. The board met behind closed doors for three hours to discuss Davis and his contract.
Davis is still dealing with the fallout from his decision to remove six administrators from North Atlanta High, including principal Mark MyGrant. I continue to hear from North Atlanta parents who insist that Davis misled the public on why he removed the school administrators.
Those parents contend that Davis was both callous and careless in failing to consider the impact of his actions on the school community. They also feel he denigrated the school to justify his leadership purge.
School board member Nancy Meister, who represents North Atlanta, made a public appeal to delay action on the contract, sharing a letter to the board chair with her constituents.
In her letter to APS board Chairman Reuben McDaniel, she wrote:
We owe it to the students, parents and taxpayers of Atlanta to make sure we have the answers to all of these questions before extending a contract for an additional year. However, should this Board decide that a vote is in order, it is my desire that through our lessons learned and our SACS agreement, we adhere to our previous endeavors.
As a reminder in our SACS work required action #5 suggested that a final selection of the Superintendent should be determined by more than a simple majority vote of approval by the Board. We, as a Board then made a decision to require a 7 to 2 vote of the seated Board members, for hiring of a Superintendent or Interim Superintendent. It is my hope that we come to a consensus around this.
I hope you can appreciate and understand my concerns and those of the community that I serve.
I would be surprised if the school board abandoned Davis, given all the upheaval in Atlanta over the last few years as a result of the cheating scandal.
The Atlanta school board on Monday deferred until December deciding whether to extend the contract of Superintendent Erroll Davis, who has come under sharp criticism in recent weeks over his removal of top administrators from North Atlanta High School.
Board Chairman Reuben McDaniel declined afterward to describe how the discussion went in the approximately three-hour-long executive session the nine-member board went into to consider Davis’ contract. He said the decision to delay the vote until December “is a process we are going through to make sure all the parties are heard.” He commended Davis for his work so far: “Now we are looking at going forward.”
According to Davis’ contract, the board has to make a decision by December whether to renew his contract, which expires next June. The former chancellor of the University System of Georgia was lured out of retirement and given a one-year contract in July 2011 to run the Atlanta school system, which was rocked by a cheating scandal that has implicated about 180 educators.
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog