APS chair Sherrer El willing to step down

7:06 PM, May 24, 2011   |    comments
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Atlanta School Board Chairman Khaatim Sherrer El

ATLANTA -- Mayor Kasim Reed is praising the chairman of the Atlanta School Board for his willingness to step down in order for the board to move forward.

"I'm really happy for the 47,000 children who are in APS,"  Mayor Reed said at a press conference on Tuesday. "I commend Khaatim El for his decision and the judgement that he showed by allowing to the board to move foward and I think that they are pulling together, as well."

At Monday's work session, Khaatim Sherrer El acknowledged his leadership seemed to stand in the way of progress.

"I'm faced with a governor who has threatened to remove everyone of these board members because we don't have full accreditation and the thing that's standing in the way of that is my continued leadership," said Khaatim Sherrer El told board meetings at Monday's work session.

But, before taking formal any action regarding the chairman, the board voted last night to seek feedback from Governor Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed on the possiblity of replacing the board chair.

Two board members confirmed to 11Alive's Paul Crawley that  Sherrer El will likely be replaced by either Brenda Muhammad or Reuben McDaniel -- with the one who does not assume the chair becoming vice-chairman.

Sherrer El was initially confirmed as chairman in a 5-4 vote last fall -- which initially began the infighting that led to jeopardizing the school system's accreditation  from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) last January.

The leadership change is recommended by a mediator the school board hired to help their accreditation problem. 

Chairman Sherrer El declined further comment to 11Alive News.

"We're getting to the point where we need to have this happen," board member Cecily Harsch-Kinnane told Crawley earlier Monday. "And we need to figure out how to make this happen."

The Monday meeting was a regularly scheduled work session the board set  up as part of their process of working to comply with the mandates set forth by SACS.

A spokesman for SACS told 11Alive Dr. Mark Elgart, SACS Chairman, would not comment on the possible change in leadership or anything else until after his "team has gone back into the school system in September."



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