Archive for the ‘Atlanta Public Schools’ Category

Your morning jolt: Linking the APS cheating scandal to the transit tax vote

The Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal has produced one of those odd unions between Republican conservatives and Democratic liberals.

Members of both factions are calling for the head of Sam Williams, president of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, one of many business leaders who supported ousted superintendent Beverly Hall throughout the investigation.

On Monday evening, state Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta) upped the ante with a protest in downtown Atlanta – to argue that Williams’ defense of Hall will reflect on next year’s regional penny sales tax for rail and road projects.

At one point, in an e-mail, a Chamber executive suggested that the findings of an early investigation should be “finessed” past then-Gov. Sonny Perdue.

Williams is also treasurer of Citizens for Transportation Mobility, and will have a major hand in fund-raising for the campaign.

Williams has been out there defending himself. He gave two TV interviews last Friday – one to Channel 2 Action News. Williams …

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Your morning jolt: Andrew Young says APS needs an honor code

Andrew Young, the former mayor and U.N. ambassador, thinks the Atlanta Public Schools system needs an honor code – and not just for students. From Mark Winne of Channel 2 Action News:

From the Channel 2 web site:

“The cheating speaks to the character, and that’s where the failure is,” Young says. “This is a time for us to decide what we want to do with our school system.”

Young told Winne he was casual friends with [former APS school superintendent Beverly] Hall, but never close to her. Young says Hall was too isolated in her position as superintendent, “but we’re the ones who isolated her.”

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Early this week, Monica Pearson of Channel 2 Action News popped up on the island of Maui to interrupt former school superintendent Beverly Hall’s Hawaiian vacation. On Wednesday, it was the turn of 11Alive’s Karyn Greer. She didn’t get much, either. From the 11 Alive web site:

Greer: I want to ask you, people are very, very upset back home. People were saying that you absolutely had …

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A last word from Beverly Hall, via the U.S. Postal Service

The temptation to write one’s own obituary is universal. But very few of us actually get the chance to do it – and at taxpayer expense, too.

Georgia’s political elite report receiving a manila envelope postmarked July 1 – prior to the release of the CRCT report — from Beverly Hall, written on Atlanta Public Schools stationery.

It was attached to an 11-page, glossy account of her years as Atlanta school chief, compiled by the APS communications department. Click here to see it.

From the cover letter:

“There are dark clouds and some storms surround us, but I am convinced that those matters will be dealt with appropriately.

“You can take pride in the fact that on the preliminary results of the 2011 CRCT, APS showed progress in 4/5 core subject areas; Mathematics, Reading, English/Language Arts and Social Studies. Science remained the same as in 2010.

Overall, the growth from 2000-2011 on these more rigorous assessments, given under the strictest security possible are …

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Casually running into Beverly Hall on Maui

Monica Pearson of Channel 2 Action News tracks down former Atlanta school superintendent Beverly Hall on the Hawaiian island of Maui:

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

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Your morning jolt: In search of Beverly Hall

Monica Pearson of Channel 2 Action News is conducting a cross-country search for the former superintendent of the scandal-ridden Atlanta Public School system:

Pearson might want to check in with former Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin, who said she called Hall after the report was released last week. Posted by USA Today via 11Alive:

“I called to say I was thinking about her, and I hoped she could relax and reflect,” Franklin said. “She said she was intending to do that. This is a really tough report to internalize.”

Franklin said Hall did not offer an apology to her during that conversation.

“I didn’t ask for an apology, and my conversation was short,” Franklin said. “I think she has appropriately apologized to the teachers, students and to the general public.”

Meanwhile, the AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at Franklin’s evaluation of Hall’s tenure as school superintendent.

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Cobb County has become the latest Republican-controlled bastion in metro Atlanta to …

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Your morning jolt: An outsider’s view of the APS cheating scandal

We don’t usually begin the day with video, but ever since the days of Henry Grady, Atlanta has always been more than sensitive when it comes to how outsiders perceive the Southern metropolis.

The Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal is drawing attention from every quarter. Here’s the heartburn that ABC News gave the Metro Chamber last night:

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State Rep. Ralph Long, D-Atlanta, on Wednesday held a news conference at the state Capitol to blame the APS mess on Mayor Kasim Reed, who as a state senator backed legislation that – Long maintains — strengthened the hand of the Atlanta school superintendent at the expense of the board of education.

Reed says the legislation was necessary to attract top-flight talent for the job of superintendent, and said human beings rather than legislation were to be blamed for the cheating scandal. Long and Reed have a history of disagreement stemming from the 2009 race for mayor.
The video from Aaron Diamant at Channel 2 Action News:

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Two pages of CRCT facts you’re allowed to know — for now

In the end, what you’re allowed to know about the CRCT scandal in the Atlanta Public School system — for now– is limited to a two-page set of talking points.

Click here to read them.

Gov. Nathan Deal announced last week that he would announce the findings of the yearlong APS investigation. But just before Deal appeared with the two former prosecutors who conducted the probe – Mike Bowers and Bob Willson – staffers confirmed that the report itself would be withheld.

The governor said he was waiting for a judgment from Attorney General Sam Olens, which could come later today.

Some of the facts that you’re allowed to know:

– We found cheating in 44 of the 56 schools we examined…There were 38 principals of those 56 schools …found to be responsible for, or directly involved in, cheating.

–We determined that 178 teachers and principals in the Atlanta Public School system cheated. Of the 178, 82 confessed to this misconduct…

– Cheating occurred as early as 2001.

– There were …

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Your morning jolt: Congress should de-fund Libya operation, says Newt Gingrich

GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich told a group of Savannah tea partyers on Tuesday night that Congress should cut off funding to U.S. military efforts in Libya.

The coastal appearance was a prelude to his Atlanta Press Club speech this morning. Gingrich declined to comment on the Tuesday desertions of two fundraisers staffers, or reports that his campaign is $1 million in debt.

From Larry Peterson and the Savannah Morning News:

Gingrich said pulling the plug on funding is the right response to what he called President Barack Obama’s “deluded” approach.

He spoke as Obama and the GOP-controlled House continue to wrangle over the legality of American military efforts against Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

“They have an obligation to cut off the money in Libya given the president’s attitude,” the candidate said.

Gingrich lambasted Obama’s citation of authorizations by the United Nations and the Arab League as grounds for U.S. intervention.
He insisted that the United …

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The difference between a bully and a man with a to-do list

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Members of the media stand on the steps of Atlanta City Hall during the Atlanta Branch of the NAACP rally on Wednesday in support of city workers pension plan. Johnny Crawford, jcrawford@ajc.com

The matter before us today is whether there is a difference between a bully and an insistent man with a to-do list.

Friday, July 1, is an important day for the city of Atlanta.

Mayor Kasim Reed wants the city’s new pension plan in place by that date — the beginning of a new fiscal year. Otherwise, he has said, the city will be forced to lay off more workers to accommodate the extra cost.

July 1 is also the day that provisions of Senate Bill 79 kick in. This is the measure passed by the Legislature that will oblige the state school board to step into the swamp that is Atlanta Public Schools and recommend whether Gov. Nathan Deal should replace members of its duly elected board.

The school district’s accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, placed the board …

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Your morning jolt: Forest Park backs off breast-feeding ban

Bowing to fierce demands from the lactation crowd, city officials in Forest Park say they’ve modified a controversial new public indecency ordinance that sparked recent protests.

They’ve removed the provision that would have restricted breast feeding to children under age 2. From the Associated Press:

The new version approved Monday simply states that breast-feeding of a baby is exempt from the restrictions.

In May, dozens of breast-feeding women and their supporters protested in front of the Forest Park City Hall. A Facebook campaign against the ordinance was also launched.

Forest Park City attorney Robert Mack Jr. has said the ordinance is aimed at public nudity — not breast-feeding.

Apparently, moms resented being placed in the same categories with strippers. Now, if we can only get San Francisco to back off that proposed circumcision ban.

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While we’re on the uncomfortable topic of government and body parts, the treatment that Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon …

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