We ask the Atlanta Board of Education to extend Erroll Davis's contract as interim superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools to December 2014.
Atlanta's next superintendent matters. Most APS superintendents serve 10 or more years. With the election November 5, 2013, this board isn't in a good position to recruit the best superintendent. Four board members have announced they are unlikely to seek reelection. With the recent CRCT scandal and SACS probation, others may face challengers.
The election year handicaps the search process. The best applicants for Atlanta's next superintendent can't meet the board that will supervise their first year. The best applicants can't even be confident they would be permitted to continue when the new board members begin their terms in January 2014.
Erroll Davis is the best person to serve as interim superintendent. Davis has proven he is a non-political leader, capable of making tough decisions. Davis came to APS at a moment of chaos, following a decade of turmoil and educational neglect. He restored a significant measure of stability and trust, earning him the support of Atlanta's mayor and many APS parents and teachers. Extending Davis's contract provides stability that permits our children to learn and grow.
The Atlanta Board of Education must soon face the historic task of selecting APS's next superintendent. With most APS superintendents serve 10+ years, the selection will shape Atlanta for decades to come.
The best search can't occur in an election year where several members have announced they will not seek re-election.
Put the politics of the adults aside. Put Atlanta's children first. Extend Erroll Davis's contract to December 2014. This extension will give APS stability until the newly elected board can conduct a national search.