One More Brief Post on the APS Scandal

It’s been a while since I last authored a post.   My posts will be less frequent until after my TEDxPeachtree event on November 4, 2011. 

I wanted to amend my previous remarks about the APS Scandal.   Upon further reflection, I believe I may have been a bit “over the top” in my criticism of former Superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall.   I do not know this woman, and I have no direct knowledge that she facilitated a culture of cheating.   It may have also been inappropriate to suggest she be indicted on criminal charges.   However, I do stand by the following assertions:

  1. Dr. Hall failed as a leader.  And for that, she must be prepared for the continued onslaught of criticism.  Dr. Hall exemplifies the problem with School Administrators.  Superintendents should be skilled the same way CEOs are skilled to run a business.  But for far too long, administrators are more teachers than managers.   School districts have large infrastructures, and it’s time for these leaders to be trained as managers of people, students, and costs!
  2. This is first and foremost a story about APS being a casualty of No Child Left Behind.   This policy has been an absolute failure, and it has led to “ends justify the means” miindsets.  This can only lead to disaster.   Many school districts around the country are in the same boat as APS – it’s just that APS got caught with its hand DEEP in the cookie jar.
  3. The biggest losers are Atlantas schoolchildren.  It shows why teaching to the test is not going to get our children prepared for the 21st century work environment.
  4. The business community that was quick to support Dr. Hall, and then equally as quick to rescind that support when the APS scandal broke.

I would welcome a guest post by a member of the Atlanta community who wishes to provide a different perspective based on their years of experience with Atlanta Public Schools.  As an outsider looking in, I can only observe what has transpired and reflect on what has happened and how the crisis was handled.

The offer stands for anyone who would like to author a guest post on this subject.

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