APS: Organizational Profile Shirley R. Acklin EDUC 6105 Dr. Fenton August 14, 2011
INTRODUCTION: The Perfect Storm The text in the logo reads “Atlanta Public Schools: Making A Difference”, yet a recent scandal regarded former Superintendent Hall, her administrative staff, noted principals, and some teachers did exactly that, but not in a positive manner. Violating ethical standards, it is alleged that cheating occurred on the 2009 Criterion Reference Competency Test (CRCT) and had been for a decade.
Meteorologist Meanwhile, current Interim Superintendent Erroll B. Davis, Jr. pledges to restore confidence in the school system, community, state, and nation as he works against the four-elements in the storm. They consist of:
A State investigation of 2009 Criterion Reference Competency Test (CRCT), released July 5th, 2011;
Threat against accreditation of high schools;
Extensive leadership transitions at every level in the district; and
A budget shortfall.
Large urban school district located in Atlanta, GA, the southern region of the United States;
Established in 1872;
Staffs 3,680 people and enrolls 45,956 students;
Owns and operations a radio station, WABE-FM and a public television station known as Public Broadcasting Services (PBS);
100 schools, 59 elementary having three year around, 16 middle, 10 high schools, 7 charter, 2 alternative serving both, middle and high school, 2 community schools, and 1 adult learning center.
12 Reform models Co-nect ArtfulLearning America’s Choice Direct Instruction Core Knowledge Project Grad Making Middle Schools Work High Schools That Work Success for All Roots and Wings Talent Development Modern Red School House International Baccalaureate
demographics Financial Resources from the community/business partners
Atlanta Partners for Education (APFE)
Atlanta Education Fund
Communities in School:
Helping Kids Prepare for Life
Local School Council
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
The unemployment rate is at 10%
Interest for purchasing a home is below 7% for a fixed rate of 30 years.
Businesses will remain viable;
Private schools and home schooling will remain constant; and
No new charter schools will be established
for the next 10 years.
Organizational Structure (A) APS has a more bureaucratic organizational structure in which the Board of Education is the governing body. Additionally, it appoints and removes the superintendent. (B) Recently, the district experimented with a innovation and transformation to reform central office into five reform teams to improve service delivery and student achievement while bringing leadership, services, and support closer to the schools.
A Change Is Coming! 2009 CRCT cheating scandal; Threats of accreditation for high school; Extensive leadership transition on all levels; A budget shortfall.
Addressing Change 1 Office of Internal Resolution(OIR) moved from Human Resources to Internal Audit reporting directly to the BOE; Investigate schools whose scores dramatically increased; Initiating climate surveys to periodically assess the culture at district schools and offices. Adding customer service and student support key measures to the district’s ‘Balanced Scorecard’, which is used to evaluate the performance of departments and employees on an annual basis. Annual training for employees involved in testing.
Addressing Change 2 On January 18, 2011, AdvancED/Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) placed the district on probation pending six required actions by September 30, 2011.
Action Plan Develop/Implement a long-term plan to communication with and engage all stakeholders in the Boards mission for educating the students in order to regain the trust and confidence The BOE will improve its effectiveness by working with an impartial mediator to resolve communication, operational, and personal issues. BOE will comply with policy, especially ethics and behavioral. BOE will provide governance and leadership to encourage and support teaching and learning for the betterment of all APS students. BOE will improve the process of appointing a superintendent Work directly with the state of Georgia to improve inconsistencies.
Addressing Change 3 Superintendent Davis states “Leaders are responsible for the culture of an organization.” “Good educators always put students first and we have many good, hardworking, committed educators.” Superintendent Davis appoints 21 district employees as elementary and middle school principals with Atlanta Public Schools. Filling vacancies left void by school leaders named in the recent state led CRCT report;
Addressing change 4 There is likely to be a hiring freeze and limited contract negotiations with vendors. The 109 teachers that the district has already committed to hiring still will be hired with an increase in class size. APS is paying nearly $1 million a month for the salaries of the educators who are on leave because of the CRCT cheating scandal. Media specialist are having to take the place of certified teachers to fill in the gap.
Resistance to the change process Four administrators chose termination as opposed to resignation. Why? They claim no wrongdoing and want to have a public hearing. To prove their innocence, they have hired a high profile attorney to present their case. Just what are teachers who were accused of erasing answers on test doing? Amid receiving notices of being on paid administrative leave, teachers are expected to have a speedy appeal process within 10 days or return to their jobs. Atlanta Federation of Teachers have set out to defend some 100 teachers told not to report to work.
Reflection Nationally and globally everyone is watching to see the outcome of this unethical situation. Certainly, the Atlanta Public School system is in a crisis. It is crucial that a system for effective communication on the part of the Board of Education, superintendent, administrators, teachers, parents, students, community leaders, and business partners be established as part of the action plan to dig the district out of this hole. Parents and students are optimistic. Community leaders are trying to pump enthusiasm back into the people by holding community events, such as barbeques with games and other family activities. Local churches are creating tutoring sessions to help students close gaps in learning for students who were affect by the cheating scandal. One can only wait on the storm to pass in order to assess the effectiveness of the change process that has taken place as a result of the “culture of fear, intimidation, and silence that has blemished the APS system.
References Atlanta Public Schools. Retrieved from http://www.atlanta.k12.ga.us/atlantaps/site/default.asp on July 24, 2011. Beach, L. R. (2006). Leadership and the art of change: A practical guide to organizational transformation. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. Perrin, R. (2004). Pocket guide to APA style (2nd ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.