With the Winter Break upon us and 2016 drawing to a close, I wanted to take a moment to encourage all friends and stakeholders of Atlanta Public Schools to reflect upon the difference we make in the lives of Atlanta’s children. A great joy of being a part of APS is the opportunity to work…

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On Sunday, October 23, I finished my first official marathon. Five hours and 40 minutes. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t pretty. But it was a respectable finish – running and not crawling to the finish line, beaming with pride (and not weeping) after I crossed it. I did it after nearly a full year of…

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  Thirty-five years ago, the Centers for Disease Control first reported about the growing prevalence of a disease that soon would become known as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS. I can remember the early 1980s when reports of the disease or the presence of HIV – the virus that causes the disease – began…

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As we near big holiday seasons, we often spend time counting the days, then the hours and then the minutes until we can leave APS for a while and spend extended time elsewhere. Our teachers, staff and students have worked hard so far this semester, and they need this much-deserved break. But for a moment,…

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Every day but on Veterans Day in particular, I stand in awe of our veterans and the men and women who actively serve in the U.S. armed services. Their job is to protect our nation, keeping it a free and safe place for our students as they grow into adulthood. They do so while making…

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As superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools, I have the distinct honor every May to shake the hand of every newly minted APS graduate who walks the stage during graduation. And as I watch these new graduates return to their seats, I wonder what graduating from high school actually means to them … what choices they…

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With Atlanta Public Schools’ history of bad behavior, it’s natural for stakeholders to believe reports of more cheating happening in our school district. Given some of the unethical behavior I found when I first arrived in Atlanta, I, too, questioned whether every unethical person had been rooted out of our system. Which is why I…

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Over the last two school years, I have already seen more shooting incidents around our Atlanta school community involving children than the rest of my other two superintendency tenures combined. It’s so disheartening but it also means we have to be more proactive to protect our students, parents and staff. As a school district, we…

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Today is Georgia School Bus Driver Appreciation Day, and we should all extend our deepest gratitude to our bus drivers for their commitment to our students during school and during their many after-school activities. They aren’t just bus drivers. They are educators on wheels! After parents and care-givers, they are often the first adults our…

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On October 14, 1964, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  On that historic occasion, the Nobel Committee praised him for being ‘‘the first person in the Western world to have shown us that a struggle can be waged without violence.” For Dr. King, nonviolence was at the heart of…

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