[This is a continuation of a five part series on APS’s position on charter schools]
Central to the administration’s position to deny the Atlanta Classical Academy (ACA) is that a principal has not yet been selected. While the school leader is ultimately a critical component for any school (charter or not), this argument is at best contrived and is simply an unnecessary roadblock set up to deny the petition.
Let’s take a look at what has happened in APS over the past year. By my count, at least 25 principals left APS – many of these related to the cheating scandal. However, I do not believe that APS seriously considered shutting down the schools until a suitable replacement could be found. In fact, human resources got in gear and found the necessary replacements and the schools continued to function.
In the case of ACA, a principal has yet to be named as it is virtually impossible to hire a competent and experienced principal until the charter petition is approved. ACA has a list of at least 18 potential candidates. In addition, the ACA Launch Leadership includes Dr. Lee Freidman who was a long time principal in APS and at The Westminster Schools. It is clear that a competent and experienced principal will be found if the petition is granted. It is even more likely that a great principal will jump at the opportunity to join and lead ACA.
In addition, in the past APS has approved charter petitions subject to approval of the principal that was named at a later date. Why is the ACA case different?
The lack of a named principal at this time is simply an unnecessary roadblock placed by the administration to deny the charter petition. As I have noted in the past, it appears to me that the administration is more interested in creating obstacles to charter petitions versus seriously working with them to overcome any issues.
The administration’s position is contrived and petty at best.