U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan urged the Atlanta school board last week to get its act together after a major accrediting agency put the district’s high schools on probation. He said board members have “lost sight of why they were elected.”
“They need to put egos aside and personalities aside,” Mr. Duncan said while in Atlanta for an event at which he and filmmaker Spike Lee urged black men to become teachers. “The goal of the Atlanta public schools should be to be the best public school system in the country. Anyone who that’s not on their agenda, they should find something else to do,” Mr. Duncan said.
The Atlanta-based Southern Association of Colleges and Schools issued the probation order last month and gave the district specific steps to take to keep its accreditation. The association, citing fighting among board members, concluded that the nine-member board had failed to meet standards for governance and leadership.
If the 50,000-student district loses accreditation, millions of dollars in grant funding could be in jeopardy.
A version of this article appeared in the February 09, 2011 edition of Education Week as Duncan Says Atlanta Board Needs to ‘Put Egos Aside’