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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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. 

Aleck Ragsdale reports.

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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.

Click "Listen" to hear the radio story

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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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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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Local
3:50 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

APS Board Chair Weighs in on Grady H.S. Football Investigation

Outgoing APS Board Chairman Reuben McDaniel
Credit Atlanta Public Schools

The chair of the Atlanta Public School Board is weighing in on new developments in the Grady High School Football investigation. The investigation was prompted by an anonymous complaint alleging address fraud and recruitment of football players at Grady High School.

In a statement Friday, Atlanta Public School Superintendent Erroll Davis announced some parents lied on enrollment affidavits. Davis said on those affidavits, parents claimed to live in Grady’s attendance zone when they actually lived elsewhere in the city or in another school district.

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Local
10:15 am
Mon December 23, 2013

APS Officials Say Some Grady Parents Guilty of Address Fraud

APS officials say they have evidence some parents falsified addresses so that their children could attend Atlanta's Grady High School. Grady's attendance zones are outlined here.
Credit Rob Aaron, Michelle Wirth / WABE

Officials with the Atlanta Public Schools say they have conclusive evidence of address fraud at Grady High School following an investigation.

The investigation was prompted by allegations that some parents were falsifying their addresses so their children could attend the Midtown high school.

The accusations specifically applied to members of Grady’s winning football team.

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Local
9:00 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Atlanta Students Make Gains on National Tests

Credit Martha Dalton / WABE

Students in urban school districts are showing significant gains on national tests. And students in the Atlanta Public Schools are making some of the biggest improvements. 

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Local
5:00 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Former Grady Athlete Says Address Fraud Occurs Frequently

Grady High School

  The Atlanta Public School Sytem is continuing to investigate whether some Grady High School football players have been using false addresses and were recruited to play on the team. Meanwhile, a former Grady athlete tells WABE’s Michelle Wirth he believes there are a number of students using inaccurate addresses.

Diedrick Hines played on Grady’s basketball team between 2005 and 2009. Hines says all four years, he never lived at an address zoned for the school.

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Local
11:08 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Grady Football Team and Coach Under Investigation

APS superintendent Erroll Davis announces the investigation during a Monday press conference.
Credit Michelle Wirth/WABE News

The Atlanta Public Schools is investigating a complaint that alleges address fraud and recruitment of football players at Grady High School. During a Monday press conference, APS superintendent Erroll Davis said,  "We take all such complaints seriously. We are taking swift and appropriate action to protect the integrity of our athletic and academic programs."

At least 1/3 of the team's approximately 60 players are under investigation. Davis said, "certainly not all of the students use the exact same address, but enough of them did to raise a significant red flag for us." 

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Education
4:39 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Atlanta School Board Chair Loses Runoff

Credit Nick NeSmith/for WABE

The board overseeing the Atlanta Public School system will have a new chair next year.

That’s because current chairman Reuben McDaniel lost his runoff election Tuesday night to challenger Cynthia Briscoe Brown in the race for District 8 school board seat.

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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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Education
4:48 am
Wed October 30, 2013

State Officials: Charter Schools Ahead on Most Standardized Testing

End-of-course tests for English Language Arts
Georgia Dept. of Education

The Georgia Charter Schools Association recently held a bus tour to visit several charter schools they say are excelling. The tour comes in a year where state officials report that charter schools overall are doing slightly better than traditional ones on most standardized testing.

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Education
6:59 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Atlanta Board of Education District Races Preview: District 1

Current APS board member Brenda Muhammad is challenged by Leslie Grant for the District One seat.
Credit WABE 90.1 FM

On Nov. 5, voters in metro Atlanta will make their choices in a number of elections.

In the city of Atlanta, voters will choose school board members.

Seven of the nine district seats are contested.

WABE’s Rose Scott previews each district race, beginning with APS District One.

The two candidates are incumbent Brenda Muhammad and first-time challenger Leslie Grant.

Muhammad has served on the board for fourteen years and says picking the next school chief is critical.

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Local
4:58 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Georgia High Court Sides With Charter Schools in Pension Funding Fight

Credit Nick NeSmith/WABE

Start-up charter schools in the Atlanta Public School district won’t be required to help the school system pay off more than $500 million dollars in pension debt. That’s after Monday’s unanimous ruling by the Georgia Supreme Court.

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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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"The 5:44" with Denis O'Hayer
8:23 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Tamara Cotman Acquitted: A Conversation with Jury Foreman Greg Pollock

Jury foreman Greg Pollock (right) and fellow juror Ben Emerson speak to reporters outside the Fulton County Courthouse following the acquittal of former Atlanta Public Schools executive director Tamara Cotman on charges of influencing a witness.
Credit Rose Scott/WABE News

On Friday, September 6, 2013, after nearly 3 weeks of testimony, a Fulton County jury found former Atlanta Public Schools executive director Tamara Cotman not guilty on charges of influencing a witness.  

Cotman was accused of pressuring school administrators not to cooperate with the GBI investigation into cheating at APS.  WABE's Denis O'Hayer spoke with jury foreman Greg Pollock.

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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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"The 5:44" with Denis O'Hayer
7:29 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

An APS Cheating Trial without Dr. Beverly Hall? Analysis with WABE Legal Analyst Page Pate

WABE legal analyst Page Pate, an Atlanta criminal defense attorney
Credit The Pate Law Firm

  Former Atlanta School Superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall is at the center of the upcoming racketeering trial of 35 former Atlanta Public Schools educators.  But now her attorneys confirm that Dr. Hall suffers from breast cancer.  That raises the question of whether she will ever go to trial.  WABE's Denis O'Hayer spoke with WABE legal analyst Page Pate, an Atlanta criminal defense attorney, about how the cases of her co-defendants might be affected if Dr. Hall does not go to trial.

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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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Local
5:20 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Officials Say New Data System Could Be a Game Changer

The statewide longitudinal data system allows teachers to access specific information about students.
Credit Martha Dalton/WABE News

Georgia teachers now have access to an electronic records system that tracks students from pre-kindergarten through the 12th grade. State education officials say it saves teachers time by putting critical data at their fingertips.  

Pam Williams has been teaching in the Appling County schools in South Georgia for 23 years. For many of those years, it took her weeks to dig through paper files to find student information. Now, she says, it takes her minutes.

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