In my week in New Hampshire, I missed a mutiny on the Atlanta Board of Education that resulted in a new chair, Khaatim Sherrer El, and vice chair, Yolanda Johnson.The pair replaces former leaders LaChandra Butler Burks and Cecily Harsch-Kinnane. (The takeover and a change in policy to make it easier to oust leadership are now under legal challenge so consider this the opening act to a long-running drama.)
I still wonder about the worth of school boards, created at a time when schools were smaller, more local and less important to the nation’s viability. The APS board members behind the coup d’état contend that the move was necessary to restore public accountability, but I think it simply reflects a power scramble, as is the case with most of these fissures.
In my first jobs, I covered local government in several towns, including city councils, planning and zoning boards and school boards. Zoning boards were the most efficient. City councils were the most dramatic. School boards were the most divisive.