The Network for Public Education (NPE), which is led by NYU professor and former US Assistant Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch, announced its endorsements for the Atlanta Public School Board of Education candidates. The group has endorsed Cynthia Briscoe Brown (AL-8), Ed Johnson (AL-9), Mary Palmer (D-5) and Nisha Simama (AL-7).
Per the news release issued by NPE, the organization stated that,
“…we support candidates who oppose high-stakes testing, mass school closures, the privatization of our public schools and the outsourcing of its core functions to for-profit corporations, and we will support candidates who work for evidence-based reforms that will improve our schools and the education of our nation’s children.”
The following is the organizations reasoning behind each of the endorsements made.
…Cynthia Briscoe Brown has played an active role in the Atlanta school community for decades. As an attorney, Briscoe Brown has helped several APS schools to form their own nonprofit foundations. An Atlanta native, she stands for strong communities and believes that all of the stakeholders should play an active part in the education system.
Ed Johnson … is known as a staunch advocate for public education. Recently, NPE President Diane Ravitch recognized Johnson because of his stance against the privatization of education and the over-testing of children.
…Mary Palmer has distinguished herself as an advocate for children and families through her work as a board member of the Atlanta Council of PTAs. A certified teacher with a degree in Computer Science, Palmer has devoted the last seven years to working with students and parents of the Atlanta Schools. She will use this experience to engage the community and collaborate with families.
[Nisha Simama, a]n educator with over thirty years of experience … possesses a broad understanding of the education system, having served as the Executive Director of the largest Head Start program in the state of Georgia as well as an Assistant Professor at Clark Atlanta University. She brings to the race a lifetime of service to children.
Brown, an attorney, is challenging current incumbent and Board of Education chairman Reuben McDaniel, attorney Tom Tidwell, real estate developer Mark Riley and community activist Dave Walker for the At Large 8 seat.
Johnson, a quality consultant, is running against attorney Jason Esteves, educator Lori James, small business owner Sean Norman and substitute teacher Eddie Lee Brewster for the At Large 9 seat.
Palmer, an IT consultant, is running against IT consultant Raynard Johnson, small business owner Steven Lee and realtor Charles Lawrence for the District 5 seat.
Simama, who currently serves as an administrator at the private school Paideia in Atlanta, is challenging current incumbent and former teacher Courtney English for the At Large 7 seat.
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