Buckhead attorney Cynthia Briscoe Brown beat McDaniel, a financial executive, for the at-large seat 8 with 66 percent of the votes in their runoff election on Dec. 3.
Her run was "the natural next step" after years of volunteering in schools, Brown told WSB-TV last night as the final votes were counted.
Attorney and former public school teacher Jason Esteves bested Lori James for the other at-large seat with 71 percent of the votes. Counseling center director Steven Lee won west Atlanta's District 5 and teacher-turned-teacher trainer Eshe' Collins will represent District 6 in the southwest, both winning about 60 percent of the vote, according to the unofficial results from Fulton County.
The four join fellow freshmen Leslie Grant and Matt Westmoreland, who were both elected in November to the nine-member nonpartisan body.
Turnout failed to top five percent in many precincts. But the citizenship award goes to the 21 percent of voters who turned out in west Buckhead's 08F1 precinct, the most in the city.
One of the new board's first jobs will be finding a new boss to replace caretaker superintendent Erroll Davis.
Davis, you'll recall, stepped in amidst charges that teachers helped children cheat on high-stakes tests and that the then-superintendent let it happen. A racketeering trial for the nearly three dozen educators may start soon, for those who don't cop a plea.
Then there's the 51 percent graduation rate, a problem mentioned often during the campaigns.
And the electorate only disappointed Mayor Kasim Reed a little. Via Tweet, Hizzoner had asked voters to join him in supporting McDaniel, Esteves, Lee and Collins.
School board terms last four years.
NOTE: This post, which was originally written last night, has been altered to include updated election results.
A high Georgia court is standing behind a law that the governor used earlier this year to suspend several school board members.
The Georgia Supreme Court unanimously ruled this morning to uphold Gov. Nathan Deal's removal of DeKalb County School Board Chair Eugene Walker and five other board members.
Last February, Deal followed the state Board of Education's advice and replaced two-thirds of DeKalb's school board members, leaving only three newly elected officials in office. He drew on a 2010 state law that says school board officials can be kicked out if their school system's accreditation falls to the level "immediately preceding loss of accreditation for school board governance-related reasons."
Deal called today's ruling an "unfortunate necessity" that followed private accreditation firm Southern Association of Colleges and Schools' decision to place the county's entire school system on probation.
"I believe a governor should exercise this power rarely and only in worst-case scenarios," he said in a statement. "In cases where school systems risk loss of accreditation, the results can be catastrophic for the community, particularly for the innocent students who have a red flag on their academic record because of the actions of adults."
Walker took the state to federal court and argued that the law had overstepped the protected power of elected local school board officials to run schools. The federal court asked the Georgia Supreme Court for advice on the state laws.
But the high Georgia court wasn't impressed by Walker's arguments. The legislature, its opinion says, has the power to make laws that can remove elected officials for "a failure to satisfy the qualifications of the office, for malfeasance in office, or for misfeasance in office." The federal court must still make a ruling with Georgia Supreme Court's opinion in hand.
The six officials were previously suspended with pay, but some members have already moved past the incident. Two former board members, Sarah Copelin-Wood and Pam Speaks, lost their reinstatement cases in front of an administrative judge this summer. Nancy Jester, who joined the board just before the SACS downgrade, is now running for state School Superintendent in 2014.
According to DeKalb schools spokesman Quinn Hudson, the suspended board members had received salaries through August 15.
The court's decision won't change a north DeKalb desire to set up an independent school district, said state Rep. Mike Jacobs, R-Brookhaven. He's a co-sponsor of state House Resolution 486, a proposal to allow new school districts to be created, which isn't allowed at the moment.
"I think the most fundamental principle that drives the desire for an independent school district or for that matter a charter cluster in North Druid Hills is parental control," said Jacobs.
NOTE: This post has been updated to include additional information.
"We are going to recruit a superintendent like we would recruit the head of football at the University of Georgia."
At Morehouse College yesterday, Mayor Kasim Reed said he's raised enough private cash to more than double the salary of the next Atlanta Public Schools superintendent. The pay range for the leadership role currently falls between $275,000 and $325,000. (via MyAJC.com)
To save CL time from painstakingly documenting every comment people say, we've created 'Soundbites' to call attention to their remarks.
Not only does former TFA corps member Olivia Blanchard maintain that the five-week training program fails to prepare recent college grads for the classroom management required to handle "a room of 20 unruly elementary-schoolers" in challenged schools, she goes on to compare TFA's laudable focus on "closing the achievement gap" to the same broken approach that led to the Atlanta Public Schools' widespread cheating scandal during her time in APS:
Teach for America cited the Atlanta scandal as a sad example of what is wrong with education's status quo, one of the many reasons America's schools need even more reform and innovation. But what occurred to me, as I worked my way, ill-prepared, through Atlanta Public Schools, was that the two systems are not as far apart as either might like to suggest. TFA is at least as enamored of numerical "data points" of success as APS is. TFA strongly encourages its teachers to base their classes' "big goals" around standardized-test scores. Past and present corps members are asked to stand to thunderous applause if their students have achieved some objectively impressive measure of achievement, and everyone knows that the best way to work for and rise through TFA ranks is to have a great elevator pitch about how your students' scores improved by X percent.
When the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Maureen Downey wrote last week about the current Atlanta school board race, she questioned whether the TFA experience held by four of the candidates running for district seats would help or hinder the board's future. In her piece, she cites critics who contend that TFA's long-term plan includes pushing for the privatization of public education and an increased emphasis on merit-based testing.
Blanchard draws her Atlantic piece to a close by dissecting the disconnect between "public ideals and [the] actual effectiveness" of both TFA and APS:
APS invests in beautiful new buildings and glossy public-relations messaging, only to pressure its teachers into pedagogical conformity that often prevents them from reaching the district's most remedial students. Likewise, TFA promotes a public image of eager high achievers dedicated to one mission, reaching "Big Goals" that pull students out of the achievement gap, where non-TFA teachers have let them fall. But in my experience, many if not most corps members are confused about their purpose, uncertain of their skills, and struggling to learn the basics.
The nearly 500 comments generated so far are about as divisive as Blanchard's recounting of the environment that unwittingly pit inexperienced TFA teachers against experienced non-TFA teachers. Check it out.
@ Mark from Atlanta "I guess I assumed you would understand my point: The deaths…
Kasim we remember that you tried to ACTIVELY PROTECT Beverly Hall by attempting to strong…
"So the deaths of civilian women and children are more valuable than those of civilian…
@ Mark from Atlanta "Bush was the most incompetent President in the history of our…
@ Mark from Atlanta "You also have to factor in who died in each war…
@ Mark from Atlanta "You ignored the 200,000 Iraqi men, women and children killed in…