On Monday, Millicent Few, the former human resources director of the Atlanta Public Schools, agreed to a plea deal with the Fulton County District attorney’s office.
"I just want to sincerely apologize to the citizens of Atlanta and specifically the students and their parents for my role in this matter. It’s taken a toll on my family, my support network and myself. I just want to apologize to them and I look forward to hopefully moving on with my life.”
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Kimberly Edmond Adams-seated-looks on as the nine member APS board is sworn in by Fulton County Senior Judge Melvin K. Westmoreland.
Credit WABE 90.1 FM
New APS board member and district 3 representative Matt Westmoreland poses with family Betty Westmoreland.
Credit WABE 90.1 FM
Atlanta Board of Education Members back l-r Steven Lee, District 5; Jason Esteves, At-Large Seat 9; Byron D. Amos, District 2; Leslie Grant, District 1; (Front row from l-r): Matt Westmoreland, District 3; Nancy M. Meister, vice chair, District 4; Cour
The first defendant connected to Atlanta's school cheating scandal has been found not guilty on a single count of influencing a witness. The verdict from the Fulton County Superior Court jury came late Friday morning.
Tamara Cotman was a school administrator who oversaw 21 schools in Atlanta. She and 33 others still face charges of racketeering.
The acquittal comes after a three-week trial as prosecutors are still preparing for the racketeering cases.
The prosecution continued to lay out the details as to why the state had to conduct an investigation in the first place.
The first person on the stand was former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue.
Becoming emotional, Purdue testified as to why he signed an executive order to pursue the cheating. Perdue was asked if there was a political agenda involved as to why he kept pushing for an investigation.
The former Republican governor said no and even lost friendships over it.
Former executive director of the Governors Office of Student Achievement, Kathleen Mathers points out the schools in Tamara Cotman's region that had a high wrong to right erasure percentage on the 2009 CRCT.
Those are the four e’s Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Erroll Davis says are important for the district to improve and continue its quest to transform children into college and career ready citizens.
WABE’s Rose Scott reports that was the tone of the annual APS state of the schools address.
Davis told the audience of educators, business leaders and political figures that APS recognizes what it needs to do to improve.
But, he also took the time to point out the successes.
Standing 11 stories high on 56-acres of property, the new North Atlanta High School along Cobb Parkway starts school today. Costing $147 million, the school is Georgia’s most expensive high school to date.
Nearly four years after some Atlanta students sat down to take the 2009 Criterion Referenced Competency Test, the criminal investigation into cheating on those exams and allegations of a culture that supported it, is now being heard by a Fulton County grand jury.
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Right now there’s only speculation as to who is testifying and just as important, about what.
Criminal defense attorney and WABE legal analyst Page Pate says in grand jury hearings there’s only one side to be heard.
It’s an idea the district has been considering for a while and could happen soon.
“We’re looking to make a transition for the 2013-14 school year,” says APS spokesperson Steve Alford.
Right now New Schools at Carver, South Atlanta High School, Therrell High School and Washington all have what’s called small schools, basically four schools within a large campus.
For example, New Schools at Carver has Early College, Technology, Performing Arts, and Health Science and Research as its small schools.
APS wants to transition the four schools into one high school with four academies.
Alford says the change will allow students to attend classes across all the academies.
“Based on the small school structure, if you have student say in a technology school who wants to take an AP class that’s only offered at the art school on the same campus now, that student can’t cross register and go take that AP course there.”
AP stands for Advanced Placement.
Operating the current small schools concept is also expensive says Alford.
Each has their own principal and operate has four small high schools.
Under the new small learning communities’ model, there would be one principal.
However, he says it’s not clear if the changes would also mean layoffs.
“We will realize opportunities because we’re not going to have four principals on campus, we’ll have one in the schools. Obviously, we can re-direct some of those resources to the classrooms and that’s what we want to do.”
The small schools concept was initiated under former superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall.