Atlanta School Board meets Monday to replace member

11:50 AM, Jul 25, 2011   |    comments
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Khaatim El fights back tears as he unexpectedly resigns from the Atlanta School Board, July 11, 2011

ATLANTA -- Atlanta Public School Board members meet Monday night to try to fill the now vacant seat of Khaatim El.

Members replaced El, who served as chairman during his time on the board, after a bitter fight that split the board 4 to 3 on most decisions and brought criticism from the mayor, then the state.

On July 11, El announced he was leaving his post for a job out of state. His emotional comments were made at the same time that devastating CRCT cheating report surfaced.

"I take no solace in knowing my disbeliefs have been confirmed by the governor's report," El said.

"I failed to protect thousands of children," El continued, choking back tears and trying to regain his composure, "children who came from homes like mine... But it remains to be seen, no matter how deep this thing goes, whether the soul of Atlanta has really been stirred, whether or not Atlanta will recognize that it is facing a genuine crisis of character, character that is decaying because of fear, intimidation and retaliation," he said.

APS Spokesman Keith Bromery said Sunday he was not aware whom board members were considering to replace El or if there will be more than one candidate suggested.

The board will also hold its regularly scheduled AvancedEd/SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) project meeting Monday night.

SACS has placed APS on probation until Sept. 30. The move affects the district's high schools.

The community can sign up to offer input from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. The SACS project team meeting is from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

On Tuesday, Georgia Board of Education members will decide whether any of the APS board members will keep their jobs during a one day hearing.

The state stepped in after SACS threatened to pull the school district's accreditation.

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