Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed backs APS school chief. Does Erroll Davis need Reed’s help to keep his job?

Mayor Kasim Reed supports a contract extension for APS school chief Erroll Davis. (AJC photo)

Mayor Kasim Reed supports a contract extension for APS school chief Erroll Davis. (AJC photo)

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed made a public declaration of support for APS school chief Erroll B. Davis last week, raising the question of whether Davis was in need of allies to retain his job.

“I happen to believe that Erroll Davis is the right guy to lead us for the next two years,” said Reed during a Commerce Club luncheon speech.

In October, the Atlanta school board deferred its decision whether to extend the contract of Davis, who has come under attack for his sudden purge of top administrators at North Atlanta High School. The vote is now expected next month.

APS board Chairman Reuben McDaniel  said the decision to delay the vote  “is a process we are going through to make sure all the parties are heard.”

As the AJC’s Jeffry Scott reported:

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.

Last year, the board extended his contract a year. In August, he said he would be willing to stay two more years because he felt like there was more work to be done. Davis’ stint has been controversial from the start, when he moved for the firing of about 180 educators accused in the 2009 CRCT cheating scandal just three weeks before the start of the 2011 school year.

I expect Davis to be retained despite the reservations of some board members upset over the North Atlanta High mess. (I still think the removal of the school’s leadership was handled badly and created unnecessary strife that will dog Davis for the rest of his tenure, however long that may be.)

Reed’s endorsement of Davis prompted some emails to me from parents critical of what they deem the Atlanta school chief’’s “my way or the highway approach.”

One parent said, “…he has demonstrated his inability to be a team player and effectively communicate with board members, staff, principals, teachers and parents.”

It may be that Reed, aware of the North Atlanta parent discord, felt that a mayoral shout-out would help Davis.

Here is an account of Reed’s speech from my former AJC colleague Maria Saporta, writing in her Saporta Report: (Please read the full piece before commenting. This is an excerpt.)

It’s also important to note that the City of Atlanta has no direct oversight or formal relationship with the Atlanta Public Schools. But for Reed, that doesn’t appear to be an issue. What seems to matter most to him is whether families will choose to move inside the city and send their children to public schools.

“We have a private school tax in the city,” Reed said, adding that many families that live within the city limits will send their children to private schools instead of enrolling them in the public schools. If they are homeowners, that means that they not only pay property taxes to fund public schools, but they also pay the private school tuition.

Reed offered several ways of how he could become more involved with the Atlanta Public Schools. First, he said the community needs to encourage top-notched people to run for the school board. “It can’t be a political office of last option,” Reed said. “We’ve got to make it an attractive place to serve. We need to recruit.”

Next, Reed said he would be willing to re-engage the philanthropic community. “There’s a ton of private philanthropy on the sidelines,” he said. “Many people in the philanthropic community got burned in the last investment.”

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

50 comments Add your comment

living in an outdated ed system

November 26th, 2012
11:52 am

I saw Maria Saporta cover this before the holiday break, and I spent the weekend trying to decide where I stand on the issue. Davis has not been an effective leader, and much of the criticism has been warranted. He has roiled parents, educators and community partners throughout his tenure. As much as it pains me to see our mayor endorse Davis, I think what he may be saying is that he agrees with Davis that “there is more work to be done,” and until APS is in a stronger position, there is no point in trying to commence a search for the next APS chief, who absolutely must be a “rock star.”

I would very much like to see the mayor be involved in the search for the next APS chief, but I would also like to understand, from those of you who are native Atlantans, why the APS chief does not report to the mayor as it does in NYC and many other urban areas?

Mortimer Collins

November 26th, 2012
12:05 pm

Atlanta City govt, APS and other Atl govt entities are chock full of incompetents, liars and theives so YES they need one anothers help to steal everything they can, pull one another out of the ditch, lie for one another etc.

It doesnt get much better than this.

Burroughston Broch

November 26th, 2012
12:26 pm

Don’t forget that the Mayor strongly supported Beverly Hall until she resigned, whereupon he went silent. He cut his losses and pretended that he had never taken a position.
His support for Erroll Davis indicates that there is something in it for the Mayor, probably a quid pro quo. Or, perhaps to have Davis hold the position for a mayoral protege. Who knows at this point.

Beverly Fraud

November 26th, 2012
12:40 pm

Kasim Reed actively supported (try to strong arm the board, according to this very paper, correct me if I’m wrong Maureen) and tried to keep in power a board chair who actively conspired to coverup widespread, systemic cheating.

All without a peep of admonishment from the AJC editorial board (correct me if I’m wrong Maureen)

Now he’s supporting (according to this very paper, correct me if I’m wrong Maureen) a superintendent who has been very evasive on issues of concern, and has steadfastly ignored state law in regard to due process rights of teachers. (according to Dr. John Trotter-correct me if I’m wrong)

Private Citizen

November 26th, 2012
12:40 pm

Did not Mr. Reed pay someone a high price for gravel during a city emergency? This article says a company owned by a campaign donor “received over $1 million dollars for clearing the roads during the storm” on a no bid basis. http://commoncausega.org/2012/07/30/pay-to-play-in-the-snow/

Therefore, where’s the legitimacy? Respectfully(?) does the man’s opinion even count? He’s obviously a person who uses / believes in “the buddy system.” (?) If you’re doing no-bid contract awards, then you’re doing “no ethics” political support of peers.

David

November 26th, 2012
12:53 pm

Erroll Davis needs to be moved out in favor of the true long-term solution. Erroll Davis was a TOTAL failure as the University System Chancellor. He took the Atlanta job for a year to do some of the needed dirty work. I thank him for moving some of the deadwood along; but, he is not a visionary leader. Start the search for the permanent Superintendent and move Davis along once the new person is in place.

Private Citizen

November 26th, 2012
12:58 pm

And when (circa 1985) the Emory eye doctor director was doing 12 surgeries per day and would not even spend 2 minutes talking with his patients, when he finally blinded someone and then changed the chart and instructed his staff to lie about the event, when the tables started to turn, his colleague dept. director at Harvard sent a letter to 50 people in support of them man, even though he blinded a patient through carelessness and then instructed his staff to lie about to cover his tracks. Maybe “the buddy system” can contain bias and ignore the public good. Of course, with the track record of APS, the term “public good” seems to be something that no one can even hope for, however, has Mr. Davis done anything to remedy the hit job he did on the NAHS while school was in session? I suggest there is nothing to compare this to anywhere in the United States and he action was highly irregular. There is also the question of who among his “downtown” colleagues authored this action.

NAHS?

November 26th, 2012
1:30 pm

How is NAHS doing now?

Attentive Parent/Invisible Serfs Collar

November 26th, 2012
1:42 pm

Maureen,

This is a related question but it will take the answer for me to frame it. When does the new campus of North Atlanta open? On the old IBM property.

Secondly, when it opens, what is the created building capacity vs the estimated student population?

intown parent

November 26th, 2012
2:01 pm

Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and Emperor Reed is at it again.
That said, just what does he get out of it? Keeping Buckhead happy and the $$, or at least good will, flowing? Is this proactive damage control for the pending fecal windstorm brewing over North Atl HS and even (with luck?) Grady HS -? Does maintaining a veneer of stability keep Atlanta out of the muck raking section of the NY Times long enough for Reed to keep on keeping on? Is there the possiblity of financial sweet treats for folks he knows in these private ventures to be brought in to “help” APS yet again?
Reed doesn’t do anything that doesn’t benefit himself. So what’s in it for him?

Private Citizen

November 26th, 2012
2:36 pm

One thing that is “in it for him” is to keep a tradition of black executives representing the City of Atlanta. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but it seems that identity politics is plentiful and real in the state of Georgia. Let’s just say that it is unlikely that the APS will be hiring an Indian (from India) systems engineer savant to head the direction of their bureaucracy. There will be no “Kahn Academy” type in their top management over the old regional warlords deeply entrenched in the office chairs, that’s for certain. Sal, Shantanu, Bilal, Ben, Jason, Marcia, Jessica, John, Desmond, Charlotte, Elizabeth, Sundar, Matt, Maureen, Marcos, James, Tom, Minli, Steven, Beth, Ben, Ben, Vi, Chris, Brit, Craig, Michael, Kitt, Stephanie, Esther, Joel, Rishi, Karl and Ben http://www.khanacademy.org/about/the-team need not apply to Brenda, Byron, Cecily, Nancy, LaChandra, Yolanda, Courtney, Reuben, and Emmett http://www.atlantapublicschools.us/site/Default.aspx?PageID=379 .

But there is always room for a miracle.

bootney farnsworth

November 26th, 2012
4:16 pm

both should be under RICO investigation.

Reed, never one to pass a chance to play race, throwing his support behind a man suddenly willing to do the same. imagine.

frankly, those two trolls deserve each other. and APS deserves them for the citizenry electing that fool to begin with

Dana F. Blankenhorn

November 26th, 2012
4:58 pm

The Mayor is right about their being a “private school tax” for living in the city. We have two friends on our block who have spent hundreds of thousands moving a few miles to escape it. Their kids will go to the City of Decatur schools — never mind that Drew Charter may be better. They don’t want to risk not getting in and not getting along with the administration there, then being kicked out. They prefer the security of a “respected” public school system. Respected = white

Sandy Springs parent

November 26th, 2012
5:58 pm

We all need to support Mary Norwood running again. Brian Kemp needs to verify that no one remains on the voting roles from the demolished Atlanta housing projects. As we all know that is how Reed beat Mary by barely 700 votes. imagine how we would be on our way to a real world class city with Mayor Norwood.

All one has to do is look at the positive chances Mayor Mitch Landrue has made in New Orleans in his First term. It Took a wonderful guy like Mitch Landrue 3 times to break the hold the black mafia had on New Orleans. Even the black residencts of NOLA realize that Mitch has their interests at heart over their former black mayors who were only interested in themselves.

We must break the hold of the black mafia in Atlanta. It has taken over city hall, APS, Dekalb County, Dekalb Schools, Clayton County, Clayton Schools. Remember Shirley Franklin’s Son in law was convicted of selling drugs for the actual black Maffia.

APS Parent #2

November 26th, 2012
6:37 pm

Mayor Reed was not elected to run the school board. He has tried his best, though, to run it.

Why else did he show up late at night to try and forestall the board leadership change which in the end may have been the only thing that opened the can of worms on the APS cheating scandal other than the AJC reports?

Reed had no place coming to that board meeting and getting to speak his mind if others in the community didn’t have the same right.

Yes, Reed is the Mayor. But, he and the business community need to wake up and realize that their meddlesome practices are more about political gloss than building a truly world-class public education in Atlanta. Guess they don’t have to worry about this if they can afford private school unlike the rest of us sluggish parents.

I would rather see Davis stay until after the next board elections because the current ABE has done enough damage to the children of Atlanta to last a generation. Perhaps a new board will have a more balanced perspective and Davis surely has learned from his failings at North Atlanta because he has yet to crest the hill at the high school where former white students themselves admit there is a segregated school. Check out the YouTube link at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mevspKFCfw

APS Parent #2

November 26th, 2012
6:40 pm

Perhaps the Grady High school parent volleying at Reuben McDaniels is firing across the bow in warning to Mr. Davis that he better not try to do at her school what he did at North Atlanta.

Should be about all of the kids. Not some, but all, but most definitely not about Reed or the business community.

Pride and Joy

November 26th, 2012
6:48 pm

The mayor is right to worry that people will move out of the city and take their money and their bright kids out of APS. I took my kids out and I will right behind them ASAP.
APS schools are a terrible waste of tax payer money, a terrible waste of time and they are hurting the innocent children. All of us deserve better.

Sal D

November 26th, 2012
7:06 pm

Erroll D needs to go, asap. the governor should fire him at the end of the year. using the race card to fire employees—pathetic.

Rick L in ATL

November 26th, 2012
8:21 pm

The $400k/year “rock star” superintendent Kasim Reed imagines the clueless APS BOE hiring (when the Mayor is not in his mother’s basement soldering toy streetcars and muttering to himself “build it and they will want to take that magical ride down Auburn Ave.,”) is not going to persuade single black uneducated mothers to suddenly care about education–or instill that belief in their progeny. Did we learn nothing from the Beverly Hall era?

The only superintendent I can imagine who would actually help Atlanta would be like a Rahm Emmanuel (but with an even worse temper) on methamphetamines–someone who would come in and say, here’s the new contract, now sign it or find some other source for free daycare, because our schools from now on are a privilege, not a no-strings-attached entitlement.

I can imagine this Furious Rahm character, with his meth-riddled teeth and penchant for throwing plaques (”Dear Furious: good luck, and we’re hoping to see you lead Atlanta schools into the top 98 percent. Love, Arne Duncan.”) through walls, running into the thicker-than-a-peat-bog-in-December La Chandra Butler-Burks at some BOE meeting, and just going off like a Roman candle with halitosis. Boy, would I pay to see that. But not $400k.

Stick to streetcars, Mr. Mayor. At least the feds are going to have to pick up some of the tab for that predestined FAIL.

Private Citizen

November 26th, 2012
8:45 pm

Sandy Springs parent, i think everybody should sell drugs and then you’d stop being so tacky. Btw, it’s legal now in Washington State and Colorado and think of the tax revenue they will be getting and every time someone in a crummy car gets pulled over for a tail light out, no more third-degree treatment from the police force who can go back to being good neighbors instead of “no knock” door breaking (and hopefully with the correct address).

Private Citizen

November 26th, 2012
9:02 pm

APS Parent #2, this is a brilliant and courageous video you provided. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mevspKFCfw I wonder how they do it in Harlem and in Brooklyn. They seem a lot more well adjusted up there, compared with the Georgia race politic that just seems to go on and on and on. One thing significant about the recent move from Mr. Davis, is that is seems to have a hint of hit job based on race, someone said it was all about an unidentified complaint concerning “race.” To react in the way management reacted is not to take the high road, or be enlightened. What they did was throw another shovel of coal onto the indentity politics fire and stoke the coals to perpetuate racism through the continuation of drama and issue. Morgan Freeman says the best way to conquer racism is to stop talking about it (oops! as I am now?). Anyway, I wonder why is Harlem and Brooklyn seemingly well adjusted but in Georgia there are still white hillbillies talking old talk, and black teens saying “you can’t say that (using their proprietary culture terms)” and “you can’t go there (to certain neighborhoods or you will be attacked).” I don’t know about the collective you, but I’m tired of this stuff and I do not want the adult leaders to perpetuate it. If I had the wits to demand anything, I’d demand they stop doing it, but I’m pretty burned out on causes and does anyone have a snorkel to help with swimming through “Race to the Top?” PS I still want to make and sell “Race to the Top” dog biscuits. Jump! Jump! Why do they have to be so contrived with their force-reforms? It’s no fun to hear this stuff at meetings. They should just decide what they’re going to do and do it instead of harassing everyone with the promotional marketing.

Private Citizen

November 26th, 2012
9:07 pm

Rick, I’ve never met a mother who did not care about their kid. Wait, I take it back. I met one mother who was using her kid to try and get a check, and this mother was white. Anyway, please don’t characterize urban mothers as not caring about education. It is a terrible generalization and from my own experience, not so.

APS Parent #2

November 26th, 2012
9:13 pm

What’s even more amazing is that he had the courage to say it while employed as a teacher in APS under the Dr. Hall regime.

It’d be nice if the problem were fixed though. Not all poor black children have parents that don’t care Rick L in Atlanta, but I can see your point for some families. Unfortunately for you, the Georgia constitution affords an education for all in the state. Not sure anyone receives one, but I guess that is the guise of how funding is handed out in the big business of “public education.” (Seems more about the contracts & business than education….right Mayor Reed, LBB, RMD and your gang of parent thugs?)

Private Citizen

November 26th, 2012
9:16 pm

Again, most NYC folk I know, have known, or have met in person in that locale could give two hoots about “race.” Why is it such a to-do in Georgia? It’s seems like the Georgia cultural habit for many is to be trying to leverage things. If the state decriminalised drugs, it might stop some of this “going after people” mentality that is common here. This would save a lot of money, too. As in “Titanic” or “Aircraft Carrier” sums of money. As long as there is a drug culture, there’s going to be urban kids with $500. cash in their pocket from working the trade. I’ve seen it when a student informs me they’ve got more money than me (and they’re right). There’s a way to solve the drug culture and it’s pretty simple really, but it would mean redirecting the police / courts / prison industry culture towards public health, instead.

Private Citizen

November 26th, 2012
9:33 pm

Seems Atlanta may be due for a “reconceptualization.” Mayor Reed looks like a nice enough fellow. Note sure about that tie, though. He ought to make a stop at Phipps Plaza, update the tie thing. PS Kasim, the Bush era is over. Everybody can stop wearing the politic tie. Mayor Franklin was a good person, from what I could tell / egalitarian. PS Designer ties are trouble in education, unless you go the art house route. Thankfully, NY Modern Museum of Art put out a bunch of ties that meet the need. PS What is with that Arne Duncan guy? That guy is really high maintenance.

DavisFan

November 27th, 2012
8:56 am

Articles like this make me smile. APS needs Erroll Davis 1000 times more than Erroll Davis needs this job. Mr. Davis is an accomplished person both inside and outside of the public sector. It will take someone of his skill and character to make APS an better educational system. There isn’t a superintendent in this country that can overcome the main issue which is the number of parents that are completely disconnected from their children’s education. That isn’t just an APS issue, it’s an issue in the entire state of GA that only has a 67% graduation rate.

The Responsible Conversant

November 27th, 2012
9:52 am

@DavisFan, I’m so glad you said it. Yes, Davis doesn’t even need this job, but while in it, he has accomplished a lot. The school system was in a fast spiral downward. It’s amazing that newspaper and blog coverage about the threat of the loss of accreditation does not match the coverage about the system being restored to FULL accreditation. Davis’ reputation, strategic work and leadership helped to save the system’s accreditation. Let’s not forget that. He’s made some missteps, but he’s also taken some bold steps in the right direction.

Beverly Fraud

November 27th, 2012
10:32 am

@Responsible, I see why you aren’t going by the moniker The HONEST Conversant.

When the accreditation “threat” was first broached, it was posted on this very board that it was a ruse, a political power play and that if fact even if this board was seen en masse, dancing on a stripper pole at Magic City, barnyard animals in tow Markie Mark Elgart STILL would not pull accreditation.

So please enough of the “Davis saved accreditation” card. It only serves to make you look uninformed about the real dynamics of SACS.

Beverly Fraud

November 27th, 2012
10:40 am

@Responsible

According to this very paper (correct me if I’m wrong Maureen) SACS in fact tried (along with Kasim Reed) to strong arm the board (via “threat” of losing accreditation) into keeping in place a board member who (according to this very paper, correct me if I’m wrong Maureen) actively conspired to cover up cheating

So let’s drop the pretense and call SACS “threat” what it really was. A political power play that had nothing to do with serving the students of Atlanta.

Why does one sense an effective rebuttal is notforthcoming? LOL

CJae of EAV

November 27th, 2012
11:16 am

What our dear mayor Mohammad Kasim Reed (his mother named Mohammad, I’m going to call him Mohammad), seems to miss is that the philanthropic community of which he speaks is not on the sidelines. The ATL metro philanthropic community has been backing charter schools and more recently the whole private school scholarship program (which I understand provide tax incentives for donors). In fact the move is afoot to expand the latter program.

If he expects to entice this crowd to invest more into APS than has been its baseline over the last 10 years, then he may not be chasing a realistic goal. The continuing issues at APS are representative of fiscal deficits, they are in fact representative of big leadership deficits. Besides less face it, the Board will renew this contract because they have no plan B. There has been absolutely no due diligence done to-date in terms of recruiting for a “permanent Super”, so it would appear the job was Dr. Davis’ for as long as he cared to served from the moment they brought him in.

Beverly Fraud

November 27th, 2012
11:31 am

Did not Markie Mark suggest the board have a supermajority when Kasim and company were trying to help B. Hall ride the storm out? (Cue the REO Speedwagon please Maureen)

Now what happens if, because of the NAHS debacle, Error (oops typo) can’t get a supermajority?

Will Markie Mark get hoisted on his own petard?

CJae of EAV

November 27th, 2012
12:18 pm

@Beverly Fraud – If it was deemed appropriate for replacement/selection of a Board Chair to requirement a supermajority, then it seems reasonable that a vote to retain Dr. Davis, considering how much of the foundation for the next decade he will be laying for APS during an extended tenture, should also require a supermajority.

Beverly Fraud

November 27th, 2012
2:05 pm

@CJae one would think, but then again Markie Mark is known for bouts of amnesia. He sat on the sidelines for 2 years while the greatest cheating scandal in US educational history unfolded claiming, according to this very paper (correct me if I’m wrong Maureen-Maureen? Maureen?) that elementary schools weren’t under SACS…so when the high schools had their own cheating issues, where was Markie Mark?

Maybe he was at the Piedmont Driving Club, sipping on some iced tea, thanking his lucky stars a “supermajority” of citizens don’t know about the true machinations of SACS?

And just where have the Davis/ASP apologists gone. Maybe they did the only “responsible” thing and beat a quick and hasty retreat.

Ray

November 27th, 2012
5:34 pm

While I scratch my head a little over what happened at NAHS, I still think Erroll Davis is very solid and that APS is fortunate to have him. My guess is that Davis (and Reuben McDaniel) acted at NAHS upon information from employees/witnesses to alleged discriminatory actions, but when it came time to go public with those alleged discriminatory acts, the witness(es) folded for whatever reason. I’d imagine that Davis and McDaniel might now like a do-over on how the NAHS thing went down. But, from having observed and interacted with them both to some extent, I think Davis and McDaniel are good guys who truly do have the best interests of APS and its students at heart. They’re navigating a political hornets’ nest at times, and doing the best they can, and I think we could do a lot worse with others at the helm. The school board would be foolish to run Davis off now.

And as far as Kasim Reed goes, he’s just about the only Georgia politician I can think of in recent memory who has gone on the national stage and actually made me proud. His appearances on some of the national Sunday morning talk shows in recent months were very impressive. Sharp, articulate, knowledgeable, not afraid to get to the point, and right on target, in his comments.

Erroll Davis and Kasim Reed are two of the good things in Atlanta.

Private Citizen

November 27th, 2012
8:35 pm

Ray, What would happen if a white government executive in Atlanta went into a workplace and told the four top black people to pack their goods and leave based on a rumoured complaint of racism?

Beverly Fraud

November 27th, 2012
11:27 pm

So Ray, you are “proud” that Kasim Reed (according to this very paper, correct me if I’m wrong Maureen) tried to strong arm the APS school board into keeping as chair a woman who actively conspired with Beverly Hall to hide evidence of cheating?

That makes you “proud” Ray?

Ray

November 28th, 2012
11:25 am

Private Citizen: Erroll Davis was also accused of being a racist by black people in Atlanta during redistricting for proposing to close under-enrolled black schools. Black people distributed pamphlets at a school board meeting with Davis depicted in photo-shopped Ku Klux Klan garb. I also observed at multiple open public meetings during rediscting where black speaker after black speaker took the microphone and accused Davis of racism. They quoted Martin Luther King, Jr. to him, they quoted civil rights Supreme Court decisions to him, and generally thundered away at him for apparently not being sufficiently down with whatever beef they had with the redistricting plan. Erroll Davis was also a Sonny Perdue appointee to the Univ. of Georgia Chancellor position. So calling Davis racist toward white people is a little (or a lot) crazy. Like I said in my previous post, I imagine he’d handle the NAHS situation differently if he had to do it over again, but accusing him of being some wild eyed racist is nutty.

Beverly Fraud: I’m not familiar with what you’re talking about with regard to Kasim Reed conspiring with Beverly Hall to keep the school board chairwoman in place. (I assume you’re talking about LaChandra Butler-Burks?) I agree with you that Beverly Hall’s involvement with, and more importantly her reaction to, the CRCT cheating scandal was disgraceful. I also strongly disagreed with the school board members who for a time were taking up for and protecting Hall (the blue ribbon investigation was a joke). I don’t know exactly what role Kasim Reed had in all that, and if he took up for Hall with the school board, then I disagree with him on that. But I imagine Reed likes Erroll Davis a whole lot more than Hall and is glad he is superinetendent rather than her now. (You agree Davis is a major step up from Hall, don’t you?) And what I was commenting on that has impressed me recently about Reed is his superb performances on national TV on Sunday morning talk shows. I know making good talk show appearances does not necessarily translate into being a good mayor, but it takes some serious skill, talent, brains, and political instinct to do what he did on those shows. I can’t think of many Georgia politicians even remotely capable of the performances he gave. I wish he had been asked to speak at the Democratic national convention because I think he would have would have torn it up. So yeah, I’m proud that we have at least one politician around here that can go on the national stage and not be an embarrassment.

Beverly Fraud

November 28th, 2012
12:38 pm

@Ray, yes I’m willing to call Errol Davis a “major step up” from the progenitor of a decade’s worth of academic genocide the previous superintendent. But how can someone be at the helm of APS and not even mention the words “lack of discipline” and “administrative retaliation” when both are (still) part and parcel of the APS corporate culture?

As for Reed, he met with the former chair, El, and tried to (along with Markie Mark) talking him into resigning the board chair and giving it back to a woman who actively conspired to cover up cheating.

A couple of fancy appearances on national tv is not what the students of Atlanta needed. They needed an advocate to take an unequivocal stand against cheating, and Reed was found to be wanting.

Ray

November 28th, 2012
3:06 pm

Ok. But at some point you have to stop so vigorously throwing hand grenades at who are basically the good guys.

APS Parent #2

November 28th, 2012
5:43 pm

@Ray, APS has the data for all APS high schools. StepUp founders have endorsed the action that Davis took at NAHS. Where are they and the board chair with respect to GHS? The data there reeks of insitutionalized racism.

Beverly Fraud has it right with the SACS work, Elgart, the board, Dr. Hall and Mayor Reed. That entire fiasco was also a political ploy. I find it incredibly interesting that SACS, which not only accredits APS for its high school work districtwide but also visits EACH high school and gives each one its own rating, MISSED the INSTITUIONALIZED RACISM at both NAHS & GHS and didn’t just flat out revoke APS’ high school accrediation for its dismal graduation rate (which likely is the result of years of systemic CRCT-related cheating).

SACS’ failure to hold APS accountable at the high school level results in APS high school students graduating from high school un-prepared or under-prepared for work, college or life beyond the four corners of APS high school campuses. Mark Elgart, if your group really cared about a quality eduction in the schools it accredits, then you would NOT have restored accrediation to APS for its high schools.

APS Parent #2

November 28th, 2012
5:49 pm

For the most part, I have agreed with Beverly Fraud’s posts all during the early CRCT cheating days and the beginning of this current board of education’s odyssey into education land.

If you haven’t been here for the whole saga, I doubt you have enough APS experience to get the full flavor of all of the layers of Atlanta’s politics into education & APS. Thus, it is understandable that you might take a look at someone on the service and label him a “good guy.” It was only four short years ago that parents were labeling Dr. Hall a “good guy” and I’ll bet some of those who vote against Davis’ contract extension (perhaps LaChandra Bulter Bukes and maybe Cecilie Harsh Kinane who were two of Dr. Hall’s biggest supporters) will vote against Davis. So, on that account, I’d be for keeping Davis but for Reuben McDaniels’ endorsement.

Please NAHS community, tell me that you are running someone from your community against him so that the parents of kids who were cheated during the CRCT Cover-Up will have someone to vote for. McDaniels, if you cared about African-American students in ATL, then why did you only act upon your conscience when the issue hit the NAHS community? Why didn’t you act sooner as Dr. Hall was robbing kids south of I-20 of any hope of a future?

Private Citizen

November 28th, 2012
10:35 pm

Ray, I imagine he’d handle the NAHS situation differently if he had to do it over again

Isn’t he a little high up the food chain re: responsibilities and compensation to be doing some brash action toward other people that he “might do over again differently?” I’m generally for people, but as the top executive, he ignored due process due to any worker, you and me included. He set an example of abusing labor and career people. I do not at all see him as a “good guy.” I generally do not go for cult of personality and, in my opinion, the guy does not merit cult of personality status. Yes, I think I could do a better job than he on about 20 fronts. I have a track record of accomplishment and innovation. Davis puts his pants on like anybody else and he had no right to pull a stunt like that, abruptly marching out four staff during the school year. It is ridiculous and shameful and a disgrace to any type of executive culture associated with the great business city of Atlanta. You might think this man in executive material, I’m sorry, I do not. That’s pretty harsh but I really have no warmth to someone who does collective punishment and marches people out of their workplace with no due process. He ought to be placed in front of a judge or have a lawyer do discovery to have him elucidate his actions and who else was involved. His action is not good management, it is indulgent and incompetent based on wilfully ignoring due process that belongs to workers. In effect, he stole their dignity from them and they will not recover this maybe ever. His actions were wilful and disrespectful to the many.including citizens, teachers, and students. Having someone bully you and then say, “Hey get over it” is not how lawful civilized society works. Ray, I suggest you put yourself in the position in one of those who was marched out of the workplace, or a student who formerly had peace of mind due to working with these persons as a part of their “mental / emotional” map. I suggest Davis’ action is unprecedented and should not be ignored.

Private Citizen

November 28th, 2012
10:46 pm

APS Parent #2, I admire your keen sense of fairness however I think there is an issue of blaming a school without looking at what is happening at the supply line of elementary and middle grades feeder schools. This is a significant problem with blaming upper schools with the heavy hammer because they do not fix everything about a student who does not have formation when they arrive. It is a significant issue. They shut down and re-do staffing over this stuff. I’ve seen a HS get the full treatment, remove and replace the staff and a year later have the exact same test scores. And then the new staff is punished and put on personal “professional development plans” (which is step 1 to losing your job) which is a complete load of … (you supply the term). These type methods of addressing improvement are juvenile, resource consuming, and amateur, even if they do come from “Obama’s basketball buddy” as someone in NYC called him in the NYT commentary section. The NY’ers are not dumb and there is not a one of them singing the praises of RTT. Up there, they see it as license for administrators to ego-out and rampage on the staff.

Hey – fix your lack of healthcare distribution before you fix your schools.

Private Citizen

November 28th, 2012
10:48 pm

If a high school is not performing, I’d be looking at the elementary schools.

Private Citizen

November 28th, 2012
10:49 pm

Private Citizen

November 28th, 2012
11:14 pm

If I was the new superintendent, the first thing I would do is have a free concert http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nzshp82CmnU#t=51m53s because there’s a world out there.

Entitlement Society

November 29th, 2012
1:07 pm

“We have a private school tax in the city,” Reed said, adding that many families that live within the city limits will send their children to private schools instead of enrolling them in the public schools. If they are homeowners, that means that they not only pay property taxes to fund public schools, but they also pay the private school tuition.

I don’t trust him as far as I can throw him, but this may be the only sensible statement to ever cross his lips. We parents of Atlanta are sick and tired of paying the private school tax imposed upon us because this inept city can’t manage to produce a decent public school system that we can trust with our children.

Private Citizen

November 29th, 2012
11:48 pm

Entitlement Society, great points but I think you have the wrong solution in mind. In place of wanting to change Atlanta Public Schools, it would make more sense for public funds to be distributed using revenue sharing so that you are not paying twice. Private schools should get their share of funding, just like charter and government school districts.

Entitlement Society

November 30th, 2012
8:18 am

@ Private Citizen, ah, we can only dream…

APS Parent #2

December 1st, 2012
5:30 pm

@Private Citizen. Sure you aren’t likely reading this strand any longer, but okay I’ll bite at your bait.

Grady High School is on a Focus List which contains the bottom 10% of Title I schools in the state. I think it is because they have an achievement gap between sub-groups of students. Likely between white students who they work to educate and black students who they don’t.

Roll back to the school with the largest density that feeds into Grady High School which is Inman MIddle School. Inman is listed in the Top 5% of Title I schools in the state as a High-Performing School.

The Grady Cluster thus swings from a Top 5% Middle School down to a Bottom 10% High School for the state’s list, but really only for the AFRICAN-AMERICAN students.

If APS is going to call NAHS out for institutionalized racism (on just the allegations of African-American families), then why isn’t APS going to look at the data and call out a school and cluster that really looks like it has it out for African-American kids.

Politics. Politics. Politics. For only some African-American kids to merit consideration by Mr. McDaniel and Mayor Reed. Why don’t all of the African-American kids matter from Grady High School down to the ones who live below I-20? I can’t imagine why the parents who live south of I-20 aren’t really raising a stink over this, particularly since their kids were the test subjects of the APS CRCT cheating scandal which this board almost covered over except for the swing vote of the white board member from NAHS, Nancy Meister.

(Seems that her board vote over a longer sustained period may show she is a better advocate for African-Americans than McDaniels despite what McDaniels’ mouthpiece group, StepUpForSelfInterest, may spin.)