Atlanta School Board Wins Proxy War

Call it chutzpah or moxie or whatever you like, but the Atlanta Board of Education just rebuked seemingly the entirety of Atlanta’s business and political leaders. In a closed-door session, the Board declined to renew the contract of Superintendent Meria Carstarphen.

Or, in the words of AJC education reporter Maureen Downey: “Yikes.”

To fully contextualize what just happened: a nationally-known Congressman went to a school board meeting to offer full support for one particular agenda point and was unsuccessful. Also on Congressman Lewis’ side was the Buckhead Coalition, two city-wide councilmen, former executives from Coca-Cola, AT&T, Governor Roy Barnes and Mayor Shirley Franklin and Religious leaders of all strains of Abrahamic faiths.

You couldn’t get an Atlanta coalition of that breadth to agree the sun will rise in the East.

Keisha Lance Bottoms has remained mum, one of the few non-supportive opinions.

The ABE fully knew what it was doing as they were advised to retain a PR firm about the decision and have already done so. We’re in for interesting times.

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9 months ago

Public school boards of education are employers, and they are privy to information that they cannot legally share with the public. All the speculation reflects purely public perception, which the APS BOE obviously takes into account–hence the hiring of a public relations firm–but it is not based on human resources facts and accounts. I’m not privy to any of that, just offering my two cents as a former public school administration executive officer.

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