Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Deal to act quickly on APS probation

Gov. Nathan Deal will take an active role in helping Atlanta Public Schools prevent loss of its accreditation. Upon the announcement today that the system's high schools are on probation, the governor has reached out to Mayor Kasim Reed and has called a meeting tomorrow with the entire Atlanta legislative delegation.

"I will make every effort to ensure that Atlanta's children are not harmed by the adults who have failed them," Deal said. "I have begun the process of working with Atlanta's leaders, including my friend Mayor Reed, to implement corrective action immediately. The high schools are on probation but they have not lost their accreditation. We must do everything possible to stop an embarrassing situation from snowballing into a destructive situation.

"Children's futures are at stake. My budget showed the priority I place on education. My actions in this situation will demonstrate similar resolve. In addition to working with Atlanta's leaders, I announced today that I've asked the team investigating the APS administration of the CRCT to continue its work. I'm determined to get to the bottom of what happened, so we can guarantee the integrity of testing in Atlanta and throughout Georgia."

The report from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools details a dysfunctional city school board that has failed to serve the students of Atlanta. Current state law allows the governor to remove board members in such a scenario, but the law does not apply in this case because all of the board members were in office before the law took effect.

The probation of Atlanta high schools will have no impact on the HOPE scholarship eligibility of the Class of 2011.
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