Mayor asks church to pray for APS leaders

3:34 PM, Jul 17, 2011   |    comments
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  • APS School Board Chairwoman Brenda Muhammad invited Interim Superintendent Erroll Davis to be her guest at church on Sunday.
  • Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed called Muhammad and Davis "the right team" to lead APS at "the right moment."

ATLANTA -- Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed called School Board Chairwoman Brenda Muhammad and Interim Superintendent Erroll Davis "the right team" to lead Atlanta Public Schools through the cheating scandal.

Mayor Reed was the guest speaker during Sunday service at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Southwest Atlanta. Muhammad is a member of the church, and Davis was her guest for "Men's Day."

"The challenge around APS has changed the soul of our city, and I understand that," Reed told the congregation. "I believe we have the right team, and I believe we have the right moment."

A state investigative report released on July 5 found cheating on the 2009 CRCTs in 44 schools in Atlanta. A total of 178 teachers and principals were implicated in the report. 

COMPLETE COVERAGE: CRCT Cheating Investigation

"This community is at its absolute best when you have black women and black men and other people of excellence who are focused on taking on tough challenges, taking about it, then making decisions and moving forward with transformation when our community is at risk," Reed said.

He asked the congregation to get involved and pray for Davis, Muhammad and the city.

"We cannot miss this moment," he said. "We're gonna get it right in the city of Atlanta."

After the service, Davis said APS will begin the hiring process this week to replace teachers implicated in the state cheating investigation. 

He sent letters to dozens of teachers and principals on Friday to notify them they need to resign by Wednesday or face termination.

"I want to be as compassionate as we can be," Davis said. "We'll give everyone their due process rights. But when it comes to protecting children, if we do err, we'll err on the side of protecting children."  

The interim superintendent has promised that anyone named in the CRCT cheating report will not work with APS students, again.

"We have to put out the fires, then we have to hire a lot of people," he said. "We also have to use that as an opportunity to upgrade the people we do have, to make sure they share our values and commitment to children."

Last week, Davis replaced four top administrators and two principals of year-round schools. A number of educators have disputed the allegations in the state's CRCT cheating report.

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