People News

March 08, 1989 1 min read

A new, 24-page booklet portrays J. Jerome Harris, the first-year superintendent of the Atlanta Public Schools, as a missionary seeking to transform the school system into a national model for educating minority children.

The booklet was written by Robert Waymer, a member of the school board, who said last week that he wanted both to provide students with reading materials relevant to their lives and to inform the community about Mr. Harris’s background.

The effort has raised some eyebrows, however, particularly because the $25,000 cost of printing 100,000 copies of the booklet was borne by Prescription Learning Corporation, a computer-software firm that holds a $4.25-million contract with the district.

The planned distribution of the booklet to all students and staff in the district has been delayed, at Mr. Harris’s direction, until similar pamphlets can be prepared on other “role models” in the city, according to a district official.

Herb A. Sang, superintendent of the Duval County, Fla., schools for the past 13 years, will step aside by the end of the month. He will become “superintendent consultant” for the 105,000-student system, according to James Lashley, a district spokesman.

Mr. Sang agreed to give up his position after negotiations with an attorney for the board, whose members had made public their desire for a new school chief. He will continue receiving his $109,900 annual salary.

The board agreed that Mr. Sang will carry the superintendent-consultant title until June. At that point, he is slated to become the chief labor negotiator for the district, to serve until his current contract expires in 1992.

The board also promised to free Mr. Sang from his contract if he finds another job. He was recently a finalist for the Parkway, Mo., school district’s top post, but the position went to Parkway’s acting superintendent, Donald Senti.

A version of this article appeared in the March 08, 1989 edition of Education Week as People News