Mayor Kasim Reed’s business cabinet endorses Erroll Davis as interim APS superintendent

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.”

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

4 replies
  1. Costly Students says:

    It’s appalling to me that the City of Atlanta keeps sticking its fingers into the APS situation. Mayor Reed has Plenty of work to do to fix the City’s bloated pension costs and customer no-service attitudes. Reed, please get to work and fix the City’s issues. You don’t have time to waste on APS.

    Chancellor Davis may indeed be the best solution for right now. STUDENTS deserve to be learning and the MONEY needs to go to the CLASSROOMS not to Administration.

    Perhaps it would be best if the entire APS system were to combine into Fulton County Schools. a 50% FAIL Rate of High School students is pathetic. Put the entire school base into Fulton county and improve the money flow to the classroom.Report

    Reply
  2. Cityzen says:

    What a civic-minded APS board would make the new supt do:
    Slash the huge overhead expense of APS, stop the school-building boondoggle and get APS’s hands out of our pockets by not renewing the penny sales tax.
    Quit bullying teachers and start respecting the decent ones. Demand hard work of students and their families. Figure out which tests make sense educationally – if any – and focus only on those. Don’t cheat – ever.
    Stop the spin cycle. APS should be about teaching, not PR.

    Why doesn’t the Atlanta Chamber get this?Report

    Reply
  3. Intowner says:

    The Atlanta Chamber HAS been involved in APS for years, readily apparent by the selection of ABOE members, the Beltline TAD vote and how that meeting went down, etc.
    That Kasim Reed was vociferous in his support of Bev Hall and her thoroughly corrupt administration, even after the cheating cat was out of the bag spots and all, and now is again trying to manipulate the Superintendency is just vile – but absolutely not at all surprising.
    The ABOE being Chamber friendly, if not outright picked, and Hall kowtowing to the Chamber is part of why the cheating scandle occurred (Keep Buckhead Happy).
    More business-compliant puppetheads are not going to do squat to correcting the horrendous problems downtown in Central Office, which is where the real problems lie – they are simply going to hang new wallpaper over the same problems, just like this last iteration under Hall.
    Read the AJC Get Schooled blog on APS issues, and look for the insiders posting; it is very sobering, and depressing.Report

    Reply

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