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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Taylor fiasco evidence change needed with school board
September 26, 2013 02:50 PM | 1164 views | 0 0 comments | 66 66 recommendations | email to a friend | print
EDITOR:

The principal of North Atlanta High School, Howard “Gene” Taylor, resigns [Sept. 13] over his [perceived] continuing frustration with the inability to perform his job to his own high expectations due to dysfunction at the Atlanta Public Schools central office.

APS [Superintendent] Errol Davis and [Assistant Superintendent] Steve Smith publicly affirm and acknowledge that Taylor not only has very valid points impacting all principals, but also the talent, experience and desire to help APS fix those very issues.

Over a long weekend, a plan is developed allowing Dr. Taylor that precise opportunity to start a real effort to fix these system-wide problems as executive director of the APS North Region.

Davis both privately and publicly announces the personnel changes required to put this plan in action. Though not the ideal situation for North Atlanta parents who would rather see Taylor stay as principal, we accept the result as a way for him to affect greater good within APS.

The APS board convenes [Sept. 17] to vote on these required personnel changes, with the understanding that only three votes are required to affirm Davis’ recommendations as it takes a super-majority to reject them.

[District 4] board member Nancy Meister moves for a vote (obviously in support), but no other member seconds the motion so it can be voted upon. Later, board members Reuben McDaniel (chairman) and Courtney English both tell an audience they support Taylor and would have voted to put him in the new role.

So, APS acknowledges a major problem, has a plan in place to start working on real solutions to that problem, has the required votes to affirm that plan .... and, wait for it, cannot even get it to a vote?

If there was ever a call to replace failed leadership, particularly McDaniel via the ballot box in [six] weeks and APS administrators by electing a competent board to make those hiring decisions, it is now.

Jeff Sweeney

North Atlanta parent and Buckhead resident
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