By Maria Saporta
The Atlanta Committee for Progress, at its regular quarterly meeting Monday morning, weighed in on the current situation of the Atlanta Public Schools by strongly supporting a plan to name outgoing Georgia Board of Regents Chancellor Erroll Davis as the interim superintendent.
“Because of his impeccable credentials, many of us see Mr. Davis as offering a lot of stability and affording us the time to do a national search for a best in class superintendent to serve the long term needs of the students in the Atlanta public schools,” said Phil Kent, ACP’s chairman and CEO of Turner Broadcasting.
Kent went on to say that Davis has strong support from Gov. Nathan Deal, the philanthropic community and a broad group of organizations, including 100 Black Men of Atlanta, which initially presented his name.
The APS board also was meeting Monday morning to discuss the possibility of naming Davis as the interim superintendent, the only outside candidate. An internal candidate, Dr. Alexis Kirijan, the chief strategy officer for APS, also has surfaced as a possible interim superintendent.
Meanwhile, the APS board also plans to interview three finalists for the permanent post on Friday. But Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and members of the Atlanta Committee for Progress have questioned whether now is the right time to name a permanent superintendent given the changes in governance currently underway at APS.
In fact, the board also is expected to consider a modification to the consent decree regarding its current board governance. APS board president, Khaatim Sherrer El, has indicated that he would resign if that action were to receive judicial approval.
The issue of board governance is one that must be resolved for APS to remove the cloud that it may lose its official accreditation.
As one person who was in the meeting said, Atlanta needs to attract a “top 10” superintendent nationally, and the current three finalists would not fit that category. By the way, Reed has said he would not support any candidate named with El was heading the board.
Another person who attended the ACP meeting described the situation at APS as: “You have a board that’s completely tangled up in its underwear.”