APS Board of Education convenes today at 2:00 p.m. [Updated]

The Atlanta Public School Board of Education will hold its regular monthly meeting today at 2:00 p.m. at the downtown central office. The full Agenda and supporting materials can be seen here. The meeting will be available on live-stream here.

This month’s announced and interesting personnel changes include (see the full list here):

Administration Personnel Actions

  • The appointment of Robert Morales as the new Chief Financial Officer. He currently serves as the CFO of the Fulton County School System and will start at APS on July 1. See more here.
  • Terry Dukes, Director of Budget & Financial Planning has resigned (Note – Terry has been a pleasure to work with and will be missed.)

Principal Personnel Actions

  • Erin Barksdale appointed as principal of the CS King YWLA 6-12 program.
  • Rasheen Booker appointed as principal of Fain Elementary.
  • Demarcos Holland appointed as principal of Forrest Hills Academy
  • Marvin Prior appointed as principal of Carver High School.
  • Robin Robbins appointed as principal of DH Stanton Elementary.
  • Dione Simon appointed as principal of Towns Elementary.
  • Lincoln Woods appointed as principal of Connally Elementary.
  • Douglas High School principal Tony Burkes’ contract was not renewed for next year.
  • Forest Hills Academy principal Anthony Howell’s contract was not renewed for next year.
  • South Atlant High School – Law principal Charlotte Davis has resigned.
  • Toomer Elementary principal Nicole Jones has resigned.
  • In addition there are a number of assistant principals and academy leaders that are leaving as the positions have been abolished.

Other matters of significance on the Agenda are as follows:

Chief Academic Officer Carlton Jenkins will make a presentation on the results of a GA Department of Education and Collier Educational Consulting, LLC review of the District’s performance standards. See the Report here.  I always find these types of bureaucratic assessment reports to be interesting. While some deficiencies are found and APS has responded with reasonable solutions. [Added – The study was conducted at the request of APS and reviewed the process followed by the central office in administering academic content and general administrative procedures.]

Update –  After listening to the presentation at the meeting yesterday and the supportive comments on the study made by Superintendent Carstarphen, it is clear that the assessment was in far greater depth and broader than I assumed from my initial reading of the slide presentation prior to the meeting. As such, I retract my assessment that the study was formulaic and of a “check the box” nature. The post has been amended and substantial parts of the original post have been deleted.]

, the “check the box” approach to determining performance always leaves me at a loss.The typical process is to determine if the rules and regulations are being followed and if so, everything must be OK. There is no analysis of the performance of the District based on educational outcomes. So a report that purports to review the performance standards of the curriculum and instruction programs says nothing about the following list that is an extract from the District’s Charter Petition Application (see more on this below):

 … the academic program in place is not positioning all students for college and career readiness. The current trajectory of growth across measures such as graduation, CCPRI, college matriculation, and state assessments is not sufficient to meet goals. District-wide and school level supports to address the complex challenges of a diverse student body are not sufficient to ensure all students can meet the mission. Data on foundational skills/school readiness, attendance, and retention, as well as disaggregated achievement data by subgroup, point to the need for revisions to the academic program. [Emphasis added].

What is also interesting about these bureaucratic assessments is that even if student achievement were outstanding, it would be possible to get a negative rating. As a rule, “check the box” assessments are a waste of time as they focus on process instead of outcomes.

Charter System Application – the application will be voted on by the BOE today and then it will be submitted to the GA DOE for likely approval. This is a very meaty document and Angela Smith, who led the administrations efforts on this, has done an excellent job. If you want to see a very honest and comprehensive assessment of the District, read the whole application here.

I have been a supporter of the Charter System as the preferred operating model for the District as I believe the model will serve to engage many more community members in the local schools as they serve on the Local School Governing Teams (LSGT).

However, I am a bit dismayed about the final composition of the LSGT’s. I had thought that the LSGT’s would be similar to the Board of Education in that the members would be elected from the local community and would provide a diverse group of interested parents, teachers and community leaders. The key point is that the community would decide the composition of the LSGT in the same manner the community decides who will represent them on the Board of Education.

However, this is not the case. The nine member LSGT will be composed of the following:

  • Three instructional staff members from the school (elected by other staff members).
  • Two community members recommended by the principal (ratified by LSGT).
  • [Note – the five members above form a majority that are effectively controlled or have a reporting relationship to the principal]
  • One swing member elected by the majority of the LSGT (this can be controlled by the five members above).
  • Three parent/legal guardians elected by a majority of parent/legal guardian votes (one vote per family).
  • The principal will be on the LSGT as a non-voting member – the same relationship the Superintendent has with the BOE.

I will simply leave you with a few of questions.

  1. If the proposed LSGT structure is so good for local school governance, why not adopt the same structure at the Board of Education?
  2. How many Board members would vote for that?
  3. We trust the community to elect qualified, interested and concerned citizens to serve as Board of Education members – why are we not doing the same for LSGT members?

See you at the meeting this afternoon.

[Follow me on Twitter @Financial_Decon & Facebook]

2 Responses to APS Board of Education convenes today at 2:00 p.m. [Updated]

  1. Michele Bowman says:

    I am also very concerned about the proposed structure of the Local School Governance team. We parents were promised that a charter district would provide more power to the parents. Clearly the structure of the new Local School Governance Team provides exactly the opposite.

  2. Charles Lawrence says:

    Great Question you brought up. As time goes on maybe we will see which structure works best and use the same structure in the future..

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