APS board politics reportedly resolved; maybe now SACS can focus on the cheating (Updated)

UPDATED at 9:55 p.m.: Khaatim Sherrer El has indeed agreed to step down as chairman of the Atlanta school board. I don’t know why this decision, described by El and fellow board member Yolanda Johnson as “coercion,” would be viewed as progress from a governance standpoint, but then I didn’t understand why a series of 5-4 board splits was grounds for probation of APS’s accreditation and would overshadow the system’s larger, very real problems.


11 Alive News is reporting that the Atlanta Public Schools board has decided to change its chairman and vice chairman to settle an internal leadership dispute. Either Brenda Muhammad or Reuben McDaniel will be the new chair and the other one will be the new vice chair, with current chairman Khaatim Sherrer El consequently on the way out.

If true, this would end an eight-month-long political fight on the board that has distracted its members and APS’s accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, from the much, much larger problems the system faces: a cheating scandal, a still-unresolved investigation into that scandal, and the apparently still-poor performance of APS students which the pervasive cheating was meant to mask and which has been neglected compared to the intense focus on the board’s divisiveness.

Perhaps now the grandees at SACS and our politicians will wake up to the fact that the cheating scandal has been unresolved for twice as long as the entire school-board politics episode lasted — and perhaps now they will focus their energies on the problem that’s truly crippling the school system and threatening students’ educations.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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10 comments Add your comment


May 23rd, 2011
1:27 pm

Kyle while I agree that the cheating scandal should be probed till the bitter end, I feel that it is only a start. It appears to me, as an outsider looking in, that the entire APS front office workings should be the focus of a special grand jury. However Fulton County has a problem named Paul Howard. He does not have the courage to ask for a grand jury or will not ask for one for purely political purposes.


May 23rd, 2011
6:15 pm

I don’t think the APS respects the education of the children. In their clouded minds they are thinking they have helped these children get something, while in truth they have cheated these kids. I always notice how football recruits move away from the Vanderbilts for the easier schools, if offered Harvard some take Georgia. This cheating goes to the whole culture of our system. These kids are not dumb, their expressive writing we see on face books tell me that can do just about what they want when motivated. The problem are the adults and this is a little proof of it.


May 23rd, 2011
7:12 pm

A new chair and vice will not resolve anything. The underlying issue is and was the lack of board oversight of what Beverly Hall and her administration was up to. The old guard on the board was in bed with Hall and business community that wanted to win by cheating. The new may have gone about things the wrong way but the point they made was the correct one. SACs took sides and was ready to drop the hammer on the children in APS for all the wrong reasons.

The whole affair is a sorry testament to what happens when money, power and corruption rule the day. Thanks Georgia, for nothing!

Truth Be Told

May 23rd, 2011
8:27 pm

Brenda Muhammad is no better than El. She has sat on the board and went along with everything that Dr. Hall dished out. She is self serving and she should just go away along with the rest of them.

McDaniel is a chamber of commerce puppet and I have no respect for him either. We are sick and tired of them all.


May 23rd, 2011
8:37 pm

Swapping Muhammad for El gives new meaning to kicking the can down the road.

Churchill's MOM.....Ron Paul for President

May 24th, 2011
6:47 am

As I understand this APS mess 5 members tried to fix the cheating mess and SACS wants to have them kicked out for their efforts. I understand why Reed wants to do this, his job is to protect the Jackson Family interest, not improve the schools. My Children go to pvt. school and are getting a real education.

Churchill's MOM.....Ron Paul for President

May 24th, 2011
7:09 am

Buzz G

May 24th, 2011
7:13 am

Anybody who sends their kids to these schools ought to be arrested for child abuse.

Sick & Tired

May 24th, 2011
8:07 am

While the mayor is so busy removing El can someone stop Beverly Hall and gang from making anymore decisions period! They should not be hiring anyone, promoting anyone and definitely not allowed to fire anyone.

It has been business as usual a the CLL board room. While everyone is focus on the board, she is continuing to destroy APS from the inside out. Can the governor step in an remove her and Kathy Augustine from making any more crucial decisions immediately. They are still hiring folks and trying to ruin employees careers. It has already been proven that they retaliate and mistreat the employees with the approval of the Human Resource Department at every turn.

These (3) should not bring anymore recommendations to the board at this time since no one trust them at all and the GBI needs to bring that report quick. What is the delay while the crooks are getting away.

Can the board just step up and not accept anymore recommendations from this superintendent and her staff immediately. They should not be making anymore major decisions to leave behind for someone else to clean up as they are leaving a mess as it is already. Please stop the madness. Now that El has been removed and McDaniel is a chamber puppet the taxpayers, students and staff are still in big trouble. Help! Help! Can someone do something to protect us from further harm. These people are killing us slowly but surely financial with all of the lawsuits surfacing from their stupidity.


May 29th, 2011
10:02 am

Sick & Tired, I do agree with you. What is wrong with everyone for allowing this to go on? It is almost as if nobody cares about the system, the students, or the staff. Who in their right mind would allow these people to do the last minute damage that they are known for?

Will someone please stop them from hiring, firing (except from the 100 Executive Directors, Project Managers, and the overly top heavy administrative positions at CLL & Executive Director’s Office), and position renaming.

As they have made decisions to eliminate positions at the local schools, they have increased positions at CLL. Who voted for these awful changes? While the board is buying anything that is sold to them, will someone write up a mandate to remove the Executive Directors (inept, abusive) Millicent Few & Company, Dr. Hall, Dr, Augustine and her crew?

What happened to the principal at Sylvan Middle School?