Atlanta Public Schools

Atlanta Public Schools
1:43 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

APS Cheating Trial Day 2: Live Tweets, Part 1

Fulton Senior Assistant District Attorney Clint Rucker questions witness Justina Collins during testimony Tuesday.
Kent Johnson Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Rose Scott is covering the trial of the 12 former Atlanta Public Schools educators accused of a conspiracy to raise school scores by changing the answers on student tests.  The trial enters its second day of testimony today.

Here are Rose's tweets from the morning of Tuesday, September 30.  They are arranged in chronological order.

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Education
4:28 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

For Some APS Students, First Lady's Advice Affirms Their Plans

First Lady Michelle Obama told Atlanta high school students to plan on college.
Credit Ryan Nabulsi / twinlensatl.com

First Lady Michelle Obama spoke to students at Atlanta’s Booker T. Washington High School Monday. Mrs. Obama told students to plan on going to college. But some students have already jump-started the process.

The First Lady didn’t hold back. She told students earning a high school diploma isn’t enough if they want to compete in a global workforce.

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Education
3:36 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Still Facing Skepticism, Atlanta Business Community Gradually Re-engaging With APS

APS Superintendent Meria Carstarphen has said she'll be an independent voice for Atlanta students.
Credit facebook.com/AtlantaPublicSchools

Atlanta’s business community has been gradually re-engaging with Atlanta Public Schools, raising big sums for APS board candidates and the new superintendent. It follows several years of lying relatively low, and comes as APS leaders increase efforts to rebuild trust with parents.

Richard Quartarone says during former Superintendent Beverly Hall’s tenure parents lacked access compared to business leaders. Quartarone has two kids in APS and leads a parent group in southeast Atlanta called Southeast Atlanta Communities for Schools.

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Education
7:04 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Georgia School Districts Weigh Different Operating Models

Credit Michelle Wirth/WABE News

Due to a 2008 state law, all Georgia school systems will have to decide by the end of next June whether to continue as a traditional school district or choose two other options. State officials say the law was passed in an attempt to spur innovation and the other choices would allow school systems more flexibility from state education rules. School systems from across the state recently attended a Georgia Charter Schools Association symposium focused on the three choices and collaboration between charter and traditional schools.

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Local
5:16 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Negotiations Remain Tense Between City of Atlanta and APS Over BeltLine Debt

Erroll Davis, left, is working to resolve an ongoing dispute with the City of Atlanta over BeltLine debt.
Credit Atlanta Public Schools

Negotiations remain tense between the city of Atlanta and Atlanta Public Schools over millions of dollars in debt related to the Atlanta BeltLine.

Under an existing contract that lays out the BeltLine’s funding, APS claims the city owes it as much as $19 million, including a $6.75 million payment due last January.

“There is a degree of frustration having talked about this for multiple years and watching the payments not be made,” said former APS Superintendent Erroll Davis, who was retained to help the school system resolve the dispute.

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Developing
2:41 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Lockdown Of West Atlanta High School Lifted After Handgun Recovered

The scene at Frederick Douglass High School at around 2:30 p.m. this afternoon.
Credit Jonathan Shapiro/WABE

Update 4:45 p.m.

Atlanta school officials earlier today locked down Frederick Douglas High School in west Atlanta after receiving a tip there was a handgun on campus. The lockdown was lifted after the gun was recovered. All students are safe. Two students suspected to be connected to the handgun are being detained. No arrests have been made yet.

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Atlanta Public Schools
4:51 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Cheating Trial Underway with Jury Selection Process

Prosecutors and defense attorneys prepare for pre-trial arguments.
Kent D. Johnson/The Atlanta Journal Constitution

The first group of prospective jurors for the upcoming Atlanta schools cheating trial arrived at Fulton County Superior Court today.

The final twelve jurors and eleven alternates will come from over a thousand initially summoned.

WABE’s Rose Scott reports, the trial of the twelve former APS educators could be lengthy and expensive.

In courtroom 1C, which is called a ceremonial courtroom, the first set of potential jurors was given a questionnaire.

And they were also given a procedural speech by Judge Jerry Baxter which included instructions to be on time.

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Atlanta Public Schools
3:42 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Top APS Students to Get Full Tuition Scholarship to Georgia Tech

APS superintendent Dr. Meria Carstarphen stands with Georgia Tech president Dr. Bud Peterson at Booker T. Washington High School Thursday. The pair just announced a program that will give top APS students full scholarships to Ga Tech.
Credit Jim Burress / WABE News

Atlanta Public School students who graduate at the top of their classes can now go to one of the nation’s top institutions of higher learning.  For free.

The deal is the result of a program announced Thursday called APS Scholars@Georgia Tech. 

The idea’s simple: Graduate as valedictorian or salutatorian of your high school class, and you get comp’d four years of tuition as a Yellow Jacket.

Speaking Thursday at Booker T. Washington High School in southwest Atlanta, Superintendent Meria Carstarphen praised the partnership for opening new doors.

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Atlanta Public Schools
5:48 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

No Air Conditioning? No Textbooks? No Problem, Says Atlanta Public Schools

Atlanta school officials say the textbooks are expected to arrive some time during the first quarter of the school year.
Credit Image courtesy of acclaimclipart.com

Monday, August 4th, 2014 was the first day of school for many metro Atlanta students.

However, in some Atlanta schools lack of air conditioning and a lack of textbooks were an issue.

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Education
8:40 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Veteran Educators Dole Out Advice for First-Year Teachers

Veteran teachers at Maynard Jackson High School gear up for a new school year.
Credit Martha Dalton / WABE

Some metro Atlanta students will head back to school this week. Cobb and Gwinnett Counties and the Atlanta Public Schools all resume classes. Teachers, though, have already been working, planning for their students’ arrival. Some of those teachers are new on the job.  

WABE’s Martha Dalton spoke with veteran teachers at Maynard Jackson High School in APS to see what advice they have for first-year teachers. Here’s what they had to say.

    

WABE’s broadcast license is held by the Atlanta Board of Education.

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Politics
4:32 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Solution Still Unclear As Atlanta City Council And APS Discuss BeltLine Contract Dispute

Members of the Atlanta City Council and APS board met Tuesday to discuss the contract dispute over BeltLine debt.

A joint meeting Tuesday between the Atlanta City Council and board members of Atlanta Public Schools ended with both sides acknowledging the need to solve a contract dispute over Atlanta BeltLine debt.

The solution, however, remains unclear.

APS says it’s due millions for giving up a portion of its property tax money for the BeltLine, but the city disputes the school system's figures. 

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Local
5:15 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Council Holds First Briefing on Beltline Contract Dispute

Beltline CEO Paul Morris and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.
Credit beltline.org

The Atlanta City Council Monday held its first formal briefing on the ongoing contract dispute over Atlanta Beltline funding. 

Speaking to officials from the Beltline, Atlanta Public Schools, and the mayor's office, Council President Caesar Mitchell reiterated his call for greater Council involvement.

"Just assume that we need to understand very clearly what the game plan is to move this conversation to a successful conclusion," said Mitchell.

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Local
6:09 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Ceasar Mitchell Calls For Greater Council Involvement In Beltline Contract Dispute

Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell.

Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell Wednesday called for a “cooling down” period between Atlanta city government and Atlanta Public Schools.

The two sides are in a contract dispute over who’s on the hook for more than a $160 million in payments for the Atlanta Beltline.

In a rare press conference at his City Hall office, Mitchell said the stakes for both the Beltline and APS are too high to allow the issue to go unresolved.

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Politics
7:48 pm
Sun June 22, 2014

Reed Slams APS For Lawsuit Threat Involving Beltline Debt

Outgoing APS chief Erroll Davis, left, and Mayor Kasim Reed.
Credit usg.edu & City of Atlanta

A contract dispute between Atlanta city government and Atlanta Public Schools is getting heated and threatens to slow the progress of the Atlanta BeltLine.  

At a June 11th BeltLine board meeting, Mayor Kasim Reed had strong words for outgoing APS chief Erroll Davis, who wasn’t in attendance.

"Nobody is going to negotiate at the end of a gun so if you’re going to take hostages you better be prepared to shoot the hostages," said Reed.

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Local
4:50 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

APS Bus Drivers Still Waiting For Pay Fix

Credit Nick NeSmith/for WABE

Some Atlanta Public Schools bus drivers say they’re still waiting for paychecks from APS that are either short or late.

About a dozen drivers opted Monday to take their complaints to the school system’s downtown headquarters, but when they showed up to request a meeting with officials from payroll, security denied them entry.

The drivers were told a human resources representative was headed to the lobby to speak with them, but after waiting for a half hour, they grew frustrated, breaking into cheers of “fed up and we’ve had enough.”

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Atlanta Public Schools
5:00 am
Thu May 15, 2014

APS Could Create Agreement Between Charter and Traditional Schools

APS Charter School Task Force discusses developing an agreement between APS schools
Chris Ferguson/WABE

The Atlanta Public School Board could soon vote on whether to develop a compact between traditional and charter schools in the district. The recommendation comes from a charter school task force for the board, which met Wednesday.

Task force members say the compact will allow the district to help bridge the divide between charter and traditional schools.  School Board member Byron Amos chairs the task force.

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Atlanta Public Schools
6:35 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Atlanta School Chief Ready To Focus on Future, Not the Past

APS superintendent, Dr. Meria Carstarphen at Atlanta Press Club luncheon sponsored by Communities in Schools, an organization that works to prevent students from dropping out.
Credit Rose Scott / WABE

  The newly hired superintendent of the Atlanta Public Schools says transition won’t be easy as APS tries to move on from the cheating scandal.

Speaking during at Atlanta Press Club luncheon, Dr. Meria Carstarphen today gave a glimpse into her vision for the district.  

WABE’s Rose Scott has more.

Standing before the APS board, business and philanthropic leaders and educational partners, Dr. Carstarphen says APS will undergo a culture change.

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Atlanta Public Schools
6:31 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Atlanta Educators Videotaped Abusing Special Needs Students

Alger Coleman III was arrested and charged with child cruelty and battery.
Credit Fulton County Sheriff's Office

Atlanta Public Schools superintendent Erroll Davis says the abuse of two special needs students, at the hands of educators, is disgusting and disturbing.

It happened at Harper Archer Middle School.

WABE’s Rose Scott has more.

A special education teacher set-up a video recorder because she says her previous complaints were ignored.

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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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Education
7:56 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Dr. Meria Carstarphen Confirmed as APS Superintendent: Hear Part of Her Speech

Dr. Meria Carstarphen speaks on April 14, 2014, after the announcement that the Atlanta Board of Education had unanimously selected her as the school system's next superintendent.
Credit Dan Raby / WABE News

  On Monday, April 14, 2014, the Atlanta Board of Education unanimously approved Dr. Meria Carstarphen as the next Atlanta School Superintendent.  Carstarphen comes from Austin, TX, where she headed the Austin Independent School District since 2009.  After the APS board vote was announced, Carstarphen gave a short acceptance speech. 

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Education
11:30 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Ready To Tackle Challenges: A Talk With APS Superintendent Candidate Dr. Meria Carstarphen

Carstarphen will replace Superintendent Erroll B. Davis, Jr., who was appointed as superintendent of APS on July 1, 2011. His contract ends June 30, 2014.
Credit Jason Parker / WABE

This coming Monday, the Atlanta Board of Education is expected to vote on the district’s lone candidate for superintendent.

From hundreds, Dr. Meria Carstarphen was selected by the Atlanta Public Schools superintendent search committee to become the next school chief.

Carstarphen would leave the Austin school district where she’s been superintendent since 2009.

The educator recently visited our WABE studios and talked with Rose Scott.

Their conversation begins with Carstarphen, in her own words, describing a world class superintendent.

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BREAKING
6:13 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Attorneys In Atlanta Test Cheating Case Seek Delay

WABE's Denis O'Hayer (left) talks with WABE's Rose Scott about breaking news in the Atlanta schools cheating trial
Credit Charles Edwards / WABE News

Attorneys for former Atlanta Schools Superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall have asked a Fulton County Superior Court Judge to move the Atlanta schools test cheating trial.

Jury selection has always been scheduled for April 28th. But today, Hall’s attorneys asked Fulton County Superior Court Judge Judge Jerry Baxter to delay the trial until after the conclusion of Hall’s current medical regimen.

In an affidavit, an oncologist for Dr. Hall said the former Superintendent has stage 4 breast cancer. The oncologist also said that cancer is not curable but treatable.

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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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Breaking
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
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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Education
7:00 am
Thu March 6, 2014

APS Releases Findings Of Investigation Into Address Fraud at Grady

APS Interim Superintendent Erroll Davis.
Credit Aleck Ragsdale

Parents of 14 students lied so their kids could attend Grady high school in Atlanta. That’s according to an Atlanta public school report released Wednesday. The report highlights a bigger problem for school systems. 


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Local
6:00 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Parents, Teachers, Students Lash Out During School Board Meeting Over Removal Of Principals

Parents from Mays High School held up signs every time a Mays parent took to the podium
Credit Aleck Ragsdale

Public outrage over the removal of several Atlanta school principals continued Monday at an Atlanta Board of Education meeting. Aleck Ragsdale has this report.


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Local
4:15 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

State Education Board Gives Schools Option To Make Up Snow Days

With the snow and ice storm behind the state, how will school systems make up for more than a week’s worth of snow days?

The Georgia Board of Education Thursday gave school systems some flexibility in addressing that issue by unanimously approving a resolution to increase the number of emergency days a district can take without special board approval.

Districts now have the option to not make up as many as nine school days that may have been canceled due to the recent ice and snow storms that effectively shuttered the state.

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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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Education
10:55 am
Wed January 15, 2014

New Atlanta School Board Chair Talks Moving The District Forward

Newly elected APS board chair Courtney English talks about the challenges of the past for the Atlanta Public Schools.
Credit Dan Raby / WABE

This week members of the Atlanta Board of Education took an oath as they were sworn in by Judge Melvin K. Westmoreland of the Superior Court of Fulton County.

Only 2 original board members are left from when the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal was revealed.

That includes At-Large Seat 7 Representative Courtney English who was unanimously voted board chairman.

In a two-part interview with WABE’s Rose Scott, English talks about the challenges of the past and how the board plans to govern for the future.

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