In an announcement on Friday, the Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education announced their decision not to extend the contract of superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring beyond June 30, 2024. In a prepared statement, the board reiterated their commitment to students, families, and employees of Atlanta Public Schools and the “laser focus on student achievement through the Board’s Student Outcomes Focused Governance” model.
This news comes on the heels of a tumultuous three-year run by Dr. Herring and the staff that she brought in to lead her vision for Atlanta Public Schools. In February, parents and students organized a petition (now signed by over 1,300 people) asking for Dr. Herring and her senior leadership staff to resign, citing low math and literacy scores, failing schools, and lack of transparency of data for students with disabilities- among the reasons.
In addition, in April, 200 Midtown High School students walked out to protest the potential redistricting of black students to Washington High School, citing the lagging graduation rate at the latter. According to the Midtown_Protest2023 Instagram page, “Midtown High School’s graduation rate currently stands at 91% over the graduation rate for Georgians & 21% over the graduation rate at the school they’re relocating us to therefore ultimately planning our demise when sending us to a school that they themselves have deemed incompetent to receive the same resources we do. There is no way the children at Washington are getting the same opportunities as the kids at Midtown. If that was the case there wouldn’t be such a drastic change in success rates.”
According to reporting from WSBTV, parents also questioned the district’s spending at the State of the District, which totaled more than $95,000 for catering, renting of the Illuminarium Atlanta and custom suits for Herring and APS staff to wear.
Dr. Herring came to Atlanta Public Schools in 2020 after serving as Superintendent in Birmingham City Schools (Alabama) on a three-year contract which brought her term to June 30, 2023. In 2021, Dr. Herring received an extension of one year in 2022 with an 8-1 vote which brought her time until June 30, 2024.
In response to the Board of Education’s announcement Dr. Herring released her own statement, which touted her accomplishments as serving as Superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools, including the historic high graduation rates, expanded partnerships, academic progress, and innovating and recreating schools.