Board to death
The last time Gadfly checked in with Atlanta Public Schools, the board of education was under question for nepotism, infighting, a lack of adequate fiduciary responsibility, and speculation that teachers were cheating on state tests. Some months have passed, and it seems that each situation has come to a head. This week, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the accrediting body for APS, placed it on probation. The ultimatum to the board reads along the lines of: Shape up, or lose accreditation (a move that may push Atlanta’s public schools to mayoral control). In order to keep accredited status (essential for students interested in receiving the state’s HOPE scholarship, or planning to attend college in general), the board must comply with a list of six mandates ranging from resolving their internal squabbles through an external mediator to creating a transparent process for selecting a new superintendent. (Their long-term supe, Beverly Hall, will resign in June.) Purportedly, they’ll also have to deal with the teacher-cheating scandal that continues to raise hackles in the Big Peach—and the practice of vilifying, ostracizing, and sometimes even firing whistle-blowing teachers. We tend to think of school board governance as intrinsically dysfunctional, but Atlanta takes the cake.
“Whistle-blowing teachers targeted,” by Alan Judd and Heather Vogell, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, January 23, 2011.
“Atlanta’s schools and a disturbing outbreak of common sense,” by Jim Galloway, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, January 22, 2011.
“Atlanta schools accept SACS probation report,” by Dorie Turner, Associated Press, January 24, 2011.
blog comments powered by Disqus