A Note to My Beloved APS Community – Update on Our Journey Together
I am proud, honored and humbled to be your superintendent, the superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools. Over the past five years, I have used this blog to inform you – the APS community – in a direct and transparent way about our work on behalf of Atlanta’s children.
This morning, the Atlanta Board of Education decided to launch a search for a new superintendent. Serving the children of Atlanta Public Schools in this role – and working alongside our educators, caregivers and partners – has been the greatest honor of my professional life.
As I have expressed throughout the community for the past few months, I had a sincere desire for a contract extension so that our team and I could complete the vision and charge I was hired to achieve for the benefit of Atlanta’s children: Rebuild trust and restore pride in Atlanta Public Schools and position it for the future, especially after the largest cheating scandal in the history of public education.
I’ve always been committed to working diligently and collaboratively to achieve the District’s goals and our mission to prepare every student for college and career. I feel we are well on that path. In fact, APS has made great progress from rising graduation rates to higher test scores to increased autonomy and resources for our schools.
I love hard. I work passionately. And when necessary, I fight for APS and Atlanta’s children. I have always done what I believed to be right. I’ve always worked conscientiously to execute our mission and vision. And I have always had the belief that, despite challenges we have faced, we have always been able to come together and take actions in the best interests of children. For that, I am really proud of everyone in APS.
The disparity in educational outcomes for Atlanta’s children has been intergenerational and systemic. The solutions are not easy, which is why I so passionately wanted to stay and finish the job I was hired to do.
The Atlanta community entrusts its children and its hard-earned tax dollars to us. We in APS owe it to our community to continue to get up each day and show up for our children. I am incredibly humbled by the support and grateful for our community of students, caregivers, principals, teachers, staff, alumni and partners who have been so supportive of the work we have done.
I’ve said many times: I love Atlanta … I believe in Atlanta. I believe in everyone in APS, and I believe everyone on our team will continue to get the job done for children. Despite progress and gains, this work is not done.
As hard as it is sometimes, given the challenges inside and outside of the system, I do love my job and want to work to ensure that Atlanta has a homegrown educated workforce. I’ve made Atlanta my home, and there is still so much more work to be done. We have come a long way since the dark days of scandal, and I hope we can continue the progress.
Our children need all of us — the Board and Superintendent, along with the entire APS community — to fight for them and to be their voice to have the best chance at choice-filled lives.