Atlanta Public Schools

Atlanta Public Schools
6:03 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Atlanta Schools Seek New Chapter with New Superintendent

Dr. Meria Carstarphen is officially introduced as the next superintendent of the Atlanta Public Schools.
Credit WABE 90.1 FM/Dan Raby

Monday, Atlanta school board chair Courtney English called it a special moment after the board approved the hiring of the district’s new superintendent.

Dr. Meria Carstarphen was the sole finalist for the job.

WABE’s Rose Scott reports, Carstarphen is acknowledging the challenges, but also pledging assurances as APS looks to turn the corner from the nation’s largest cheating scandal.

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Atlanta Public Schools
6:10 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Judge Denies Motion in APS Cheating Case

Fulton County prosecutors used this an example of how scanners of standardized tests can detect erasure marks. Defense attorneys wanted items like this thrown out as evidence.
Credit Rose Scott / WABE News

There’s analysis of erasures on the Criterion Referenced Competency Test that’s tied to the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal.

Should that analysis be part of the evidence in the court trial against defendants including former Superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall?

Defense lawyers today argued no. But, the Fulton County Superior Court Judge in the case denied the defense motion.

For Friday’s 5:44 segment with WABE’s Denis O’Hayer, WABE’s Rose Scott talked about arguments in court and the judge’s ruling.

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4:23 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Judge Postpones Beverly Hall's Trial Until August Due To Health Concerns

Dr. Beverly Hall
Credit WABE 90.1 FM

TWEETS FROM THE COURTROOM: After a hearing where he heard competing views of Dr. Beverly Hall's health, Judge Jerry Baxter ruled that he will delay the trial of Dr. Hall until August because of her health.

Dr. Hall's oncologist, Dr. Laura Weakland of Georgia Cancer Specialists, testified about Dr. Hall's health at the request of Judge Baxter.  Dr. Hall has been diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer, and her lawyers had requested a delay of her trial.

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Atlanta Public Schools
5:15 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Lawyer for Beverly Hall Reiterates Request for Trial Delay

Richard Deane, attorney for Beverly Hall, discussing the case with reporters this afternoon.
Josh Pate

Web Exclusive:

Today, reporters talked to one of the attorneys representing former Atlanta Schools Superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall.

Hall is arguably the highest profile defendant in the Atlanta schools cheating court case.

In a motion filed yesterday, Hall’s attorneys had asked the trial be delayed by 6-8 months because of Hall’s treatment for Stage IV breast cancer.

Attorney Richard Deane talked about that motion today in a press conference.

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Atlanta Public Schools
7:42 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Dr. Carstarphen's Austin Report Card: A Talk with KUT Education Reporter Kate McGee

Kate McGee, education reporter for KUT, the NPR station in Austin, Texas
Credit KUT News

On March 27, 2014, Dr. Meria Carstarphen was named the sole finalist for the job of Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent.  

For the past five years, Carstarphen has headed the Austin Independent School District in Texas.  To find out how she did there, WABE's Denis O'Hayer spoke with Kate McGee, an education reporter who covered Carstarphen for NPR station KUT in Austin.

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Atlanta Public Schools
5:49 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Likely New Atlanta Superintendent Talks Atlanta Cheating Scandal

If approved by the school board, Dr. Meria Carstarphen assumes a number of challenges including the most notable one, the cheating scandal.
Credit WABE 90.1 FM

The lone finalist to become the next Atlanta Public Schools superintendent met with Governor Nathan Deal and then with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed on Friday.

If approved by the school board, Dr. Meria Carstarphen assumes a number of challenges including the most notable one.

That means rebounding from one of the darkest moments for APS.

Dr. Carstarphen was asked to reflect on what was called the nation’s largest cheating scandal.

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Atlanta Public Schools
9:50 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Lone Candidate for Atlanta Schools Superintendent, "We Are Going to Do This Together"

Austin ISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen has been named as the sole finalist for the superintendent job in Atlanta, Georgia.
Credit WABE 90.1 FM

A lone finalist is likely the next superintendent of the Atlanta Public Schools.

Thursday, district officials introduced Dr. Meria Carstarphen as their choice for the next school chief.

Dr. Carstarphen is currently the superintendent for the Austin Independent School District in Texas.

As she walked into the library of Hope Hill Elementary, Dr. Meria Carstarphen gave high fives to the students seated on the floor.

When she addressed the room, she talked about coming home to another part of the South.

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6:56 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Dr. Meria Joel Carstarphen Introduced As Lone APS Superintendent Finalist

Dr. Meria Joel Carstarphen (left, standing next to APS Board Chair Courtney English) is the finalist for the position of APS superintendent. She was introduced to the public and press late Thursday afternoon, March 27.
Rose Scott, WABE

Late this afternoon, the Atlanta Board of Education introduced the lone finalist for the position of Atlanta Public School superintendent at a press conference at Hope Hill Elementary School.

She is Dr. Meria Joel Carstaphen and is currently the superintendent of the Austin (Texas) Independent School District.  Dr. Carstaphen (pronounced car-STAR-fin) is a native of Selma, Alabama, who joined the Austin school system in 2009 as both its first African-American superintendent and its first female superintendent.

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Atlanta Public Schools
6:30 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Amid Preparations For APS Trial, Dr. Hall's Lawyer Reveals She Has Cancer

In this file photo from earlier this year, Dr. Beverly Hall attends a hearing with attorney Richard
Credit WABE 90.1 FM

The presiding judge in the case against Atlanta educators in the cheating scandal wants everyone to be ready when the trial begins.

Fulton County Superior Court judge Jerry Baxter made it clear today during a status hearing where some of the remaining defendants were in attendance.

Former Atlanta Public Schools superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall was not in court today.  

WABE’s Rose Scott reports on the news revealed about the former school chief.

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11:39 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Dr. Beverly Hall Battling Stage IV Cancer

Dr. Beverly Hall
Credit WABE 90.1 FM

BREAKING -- WABE's Rose Scott has learned from a lawyer for Dr. Beverly Hall that his client is suffering from Stage IV cancer and is "gravely ill."

[Correction: an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Dr. Hall's lawyer had made this statement in court.  WABE regrets the error.]

Stage IV cancer is described by the National Cancer Institute as meaning that "the cancer has spread to distant tissues or organs."

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Atlanta Public Schools
4:38 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Atlanta School Board Stands Behind Superintendent's Principal Changes

Chairman Courtney English says the entire board stands behind the rationale for removing the school leaders.
Credit Atlanta Public Schools

The recent announcement that nearly a dozen Atlanta school principals would not return in the fall led to a packed house at this week’s APS school board meeting.

District officials say the decision was part of a routine annual assessment and review process by Superintendent Erroll Davis.

Now, WABE’s Rose Scott reports, the APS board is backing the school’s chief decision.

APS board chair Courtney English says decisions like this are never easy, but the consensus is NOT to oppose Superintendent Erroll Davis.

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Atlanta Public Schools
6:39 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Former Atlanta School Chief's Attorney Responds to Newest Plea Deal

J. Tom Morgan escorts Dr. Beverly Hall to the Fulton County Sheriff's Department the day an indictment was handed up.
Credit WABE 90.1 FM

One of the attorneys for former Atlanta Public Schools superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall says despite a recent plea from another APS executive, Hall is looking forward to clearing her name.

WABE’s Rose Scott has this report.

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Atlanta Public Schools
9:18 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Former Atlanta Schools Executive Enters Plea, Will Testify For State

The district attorney's office says Few will testify against her former boss, APS superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall.
Credit WABE

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.”  

Few has agreed to testify on behalf of the state in its case against former APS superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall.

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Atlanta Public Schools
4:14 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Atlanta Mayor and School Board Differ on Next Superintendent Salary

In this WABE file photo, at the Atlanta History Center at The Carter Breakfast.Mayor Kasim Reed talks about how to attract the best candidate for the school system.
Credit WABE 90.1 FM/Charles Edwards

What will it take to attract the next Atlanta Public Schools superintendent?

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed today stood by his idea to double the salary in order to attract what he calls the best in class.

Reed first talked about how to attract the best candidate in 2012.

In the first of two reports from WABE’s Michell Eloy and Rose Scott, new APS board chair Courtney English says the board doesn’t support the Mayor’s plan.

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Atlanta Public Schools
6:28 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

New Atlanta Board Members Ready to Work

Newly elected and returning members of the Atlanta Board of Education are sworn into office.
Credit Scott C. King, APS

The Atlanta Public Schools will have a new superintendent, but the announcement won’t come until April.

The newly sworn in APS board will receive a list of finalists recommended by a search committee.

Selection of the next schools chief is the first major task for the board.

And as WABE’s Rose Scott reports, the newest board members say they’re ready to work.

In between the hugs, congratulations and photos being taken, the faces of the new members of the APS board were all smiles after being sworn in.

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Atlanta Public Schools
6:22 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Six New Members join Atlanta Board of Education, English Voted Chairman

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.
WABE 90.1 FM

It wasn't business as usual for the year's first Atlanta Board of Education meeting.

That's because there are six new members and as WABE's Rose Scott reports new leadership.

As the members walked in, the crowd cheered.

The first order of business was to swear in the new board.

But before the ceremony, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Kimberly Edmond Adams delivered a mandate.

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Atlanta Public Schools
6:02 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Former Educators Enter Into Plea Agreements, Will Testify For State

Starlette Mitchell with attorney Ruth McMullin.
WABE 90.1 FM/Scott

Today five former Atlanta Public Schools educators and one former secretary entered into a plea agreement with the state.

They were part of the original thirty-five indicted on charges related to test cheating in APS.

We have two reports on today’s court proceedings from WABE’s Michelle Wirth and Rose Scott.

62-year old Clarietta Davis is the former principal of Venetian Hills Elementary School.

During the state ordered investigation, some teachers at the school confessed to cheating, but Davis initially refused to answer any questions.

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Atlanta Public Schools
6:26 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Attorney For Indicted Educator: Trying All at Once "Unconstitutional"

Earlier this year, Brian Steel argued on behalf of all the defendants to have the indictment thrown out.
Credit WABE 90.1 FM

If all thirty-four defendants facing racketeering charges related to the Atlanta cheating scandal are tried at once, it will be history making and unconstitutional.

That’s according to an attorney representing one of the educators.

The remaining defendants include Dr. Luscious Brown, the former principal of Kennedy Middle School.

He’s charged with racketeering, making false statements and making false writings.

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Atlanta Public Schools
4:37 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Atlanta School District Releases North Atlanta High School Racial Discrimination Report

Atlanta Public School's Office of Internal Compliance released its investigative summary regarding accusations of institutional racism within North Atlanta High School.
Credit WABE 90.1 FM

In a story first reported by WABE news, allegations of racial discrimination and improper grade changing were charged at North Atlanta High School.

Today, the Atlanta Public Schools released the findings of an internal investigation into those claims.

The 166 page report found no racial discrimination as defined by law.

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Verdict in Tamara Cotman Trial
11:11 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Jury Finds First Defendant Related to APS Cheating Scandal Not Guilty

Former APS administrator Tamara Cotman leaves the courthouse after being found not guilty of influencing a witness.
Credit Rose Scott / WABE News

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.

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Atlanta Public Schools
6:20 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Tamara Cotman Case Goes to Jury

Judge Jerry Baxter is presiding over Tamara Cotman's trial.
Credit Fulton County Superior Court

Jury deliberations ended today with no verdict in the trial of former Atlanta Public Schools executive director Tamara Cotman.

She’s accused of influencing a witness while the state investigated cheating within the school system.

Earlier today, the prosecution and the defense made their closing arguments inside Fulton County Superior Court.

It was a glaring difference between the defense and the state during the closing arguments today, beginning with Tamara Cotman’s attorney Benjamin Davis.

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Atlanta Public Schools
6:38 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

APS Superintendent Davis Called to Testify in Cotman Trial; Prosecution Rests

Atlanta Public Schools superintendent Erroll Davis testified for the prosecution today in the trial of former APS executive director Tamara Cotman.
Credit Atlanta Public Schools

Today, before the prosecution rested its case against former Atlanta Public Schools executive director Tamara Cotman, current APS superintendent Erroll Davis was called to testify.

Cotman is a former executive director in APS and stands accused of influencing a witness during the state’s investigation into cheating.

WABE’s Rose Scott has more on today’s court proceedings:

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Atlanta Public Schools
6:47 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Former Governor Takes Stand in Trial Against Atlanta Educator

Former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue testified as to why he kept pushing for an investigation into cheating within the Atlanta Public Schools.
Credit WABE 90.1 FM

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.

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Atlanta Public Schools
7:03 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

First Trial Related to Atlanta Cheating Scandal Begins

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.
Credit WABE 90.1 FM

The first day in the trial for a former APS executive director has wrapped up.

Earlier this year, Tamara Cotman was among the initial 35 former Atlanta Public Schools educators indicted on charges that included acts of racketeering and theft by taking.

But in June, Cotman and three others were indicted on additional charges of influencing potential witnesses.

Cotman’s attorney asked for a speedy trial related to the second indictment.

Friday, August 23rd  the state began presenting its evidence against Cotman.

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Atlanta Public Schools
3:49 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Female Student Arrested For Carrying Gun At New Schools at Carver

A 15-year-old female student at the New Schools at Carver was arrested for having a handgun in her purse, which she said she was holding for another student.
Credit Google Street Views

Officials with the Atlanta Public Schools and the Atlanta Police Department say a 15-year old female student was arrested on Tuesday at the New Schools at Carver High located in south Atlanta.

The student was in possession of a gun. And it was a loaded gun, says APD major Keith Meadows.

“One of our school resources officers actually received an anonymous tip from a student at the school that another female was actually carrying a handgun in her purse."

Major Meadows is in charge of APS’ school detectives unit.

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Atlanta Public Schools
5:58 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Superintendent Search Committee Hires New Firm to Help Find Next School Chief

Dr. Beverly Hall was APS superintendent from 1999 until 2010. Erroll Davis is the current superintendent.
Credit WABE 90.1 FM

The group charged with trying to identify and attract the best candidates for the Atlanta Public School’s next superintendent is turning to a new search firm.

Current APS Superintendent Erroll Davis’ contract ends next year.

WABE’s Rose Scott reports APS officials hope the hiring of a new search firm will give the district a “best in class” pool of candidates to choose from.

It seems as if everyone has their own thoughts on the next APS school chief.

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Atlanta Public Schools
5:01 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

APS Superintendent Cites Progress, Says Still More To Do

In this 2011 file photo, Erroll Davis meets with parents and other stakeholders during the school year.
Credit Atlanta Public Schools

Excellence, equity, ethics and engagement...

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.

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Atlanta Public Schools
3:16 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Atlanta Elementary School Finally Gets Playground, Others Still Without

Hope Hill students use this space for unstructured play.
Elly Yu

This week, Atlanta Public School students will start the 2013-14 school year.

Many elementary students are probably looking forward to what the district calls unstructured play or what was traditionally known as recess.

Some of the students will have access to a playground, but that’s not the case for all.

WABE’s Rose Scott reports how the district is trying to fix that problem for a school in the city’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood.

This is a story about Hope-Hill Elementary school and the quest for its own playground.

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Atlanta Public Schools
11:39 am
Wed August 7, 2013

WABE Goes Inside Georgia's Most Expensive High School Ever

The main entrance to the $147 million high school.
Catherine Mullins/ WABE News

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.  

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Atlanta Public Schools
6:28 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Missing iPads Center of Atlanta Schools Investigation

Ten iPads are missing and now an investigation is underway.

There’s an ongoing investigation within the Atlanta Public Schools regarding missing iPads.

According to district spokesperson Steve Alford, sometime last year the iPads he ordered went missing.

“I don’t know the exact date, but I can tell when we began to distribute the iPads and we went through each of the list iPads that we ordered, we realized we were missing ten.”

The iPads were among a batch of 85 ordered for APS communication specialists.

Alfords calls the alleged iPad thefts unfortunate and disturbing.

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