On July 1, the Atlanta Board of Educators will vote on a profile it feels the next school superintendent should fulfill.
That profile has been built by six weeks of input from parents, educators, students and community leaders.
During their search for what the next superintendent should represent to the district, the board have had online questionnaires, made phone calls to people in the district and mailed out information for parents to fill out and send back.
"This is very important for us," Reuben McDaniel, chairman of the Atlanta School Board said. "Atlanta has been through a lot, and so we want to find the best person for Atlanta. It must be right. We really have no room for error on this, and these children deserve to have the best."
Parents spoke for more than an hour at a question-and-answer session, voicing their opinions about who the next superintendent should be.
Many said he needed to be a positive person that unites the district and works to make educating children their top priority.
"(We need) someone who is aware of what's going on in our system and someone willing to listen to parents, teachers and stakeholders," parent Dana Price said. "If I wasn't optimistic, I would be changing my child's school system. I have full faith and trust that we can get to where we need to be for our students."
Once the profile is set for the superintendent position, the position will be made public. Then the district will begin the interview process. District officials said they hope to have three to five candidates and make a decision on a new superintendent by the end of the year.
Whoever takes over as the new superintendent will have face tough challenges ahead.
Current superintendent Erroll Davis is about to begin an 18-month contract extension. Davis was never meant to be a permanent superintendent. He had retired as chancellor of the University System of Georgia and was pulled out of retirement to help straighten out Atlanta Public Schools after the massive cheating scandal that resulted in former Superintendent Beverly Hall being charged with racketeering.
Prosecutors allege that Hall created a culture in which teachers and administrators were encouraged to cheat, making it appear that students were excelling on standardized tests when, in fact, most were not.
Dozens of teachers and administrators were fired over the scandal. Several face criminal charges.
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