Atlanta attorney Cynthia Briscoe Brown, former co-president of North Atlanta Parents for Public Schools, will run for the at-large District 8 Board of Education seat currently held by Reuben McDaniel.
This is the second Buckhead resident to announce a run against McDaniel. Attorney Tom Tidwell announced on June 20 that he would also run for the seat.
“Most of APS’ problems boil down to a lack of community,” Brown said in a press release. “Too many people on the Board pursue personal political agendas at the expense of working together for our children. Board members are elected as one of nine, charged with working together to achieve consensus for the good of the community.”
The announcement points to a growing movement to oust McDaniel, who angered many Buckhead residents. McDaniel’s inquiry into alleged institutional racism at North Atlanta High came shortly before Atlanta Public School officials removed the popular leadership team there. While APS said the removal of the school’s academy leaders was about academic performance, many Buckhead parents saw it as a consequence of McDaniel’s actions.
Here is Brown’s full press release:
ATLANTA, GA — In a press conference held downtown in front of the Atlanta Public Schools Headquarters, Cynthia Briscoe Brown, long time advocate and activist for APS, announced today her candidacy for the At-Large District 8 Atlanta Board of Education seat.
After years of effectively serving the APS community in a wide variety of supporting roles, the level of dysfunction emblematic of the current board’s leadership prompted her decision. Brown says the time is now for her to work with the community to meet the needs of every student.
“Most of APS’ problems boil down to a lack of community,” said Brown. “Too many people on the Board pursue personal political agendas at the expense of working together for our children. Board members are elected as one of nine, charged with working together to achieve consensus for the good of the community.”
Brown will challenge incumbent Reuben McDaniel for the citywide seat.
Brown cited McDaniel’s recent determination to ram through a budget proposal as an example of his unwillingness to engage in collaborative decision-making. “Board members were supplied with little to no supporting data, making it impossible for them to make an educated decision because they did not have the necessary information,” said Brown.
Brown also insists the Board must take a more active role in ensuring that the system’s next superintendent implements the Board’s strategic plans and vision. “As the Board’s only employee it is the superintendent’s job to work with the Board and to provide them the information they need in a timely and accurate manner.”
Once elected, Brown promises to listen and support every stakeholder within the diverse community APS serves.
“I have spent hours listening to parents, teachers and students across the city, and what I hear is that APS is not respecting and responding to their concerns. We are losing too many of our minority students before graduation, our gifted children are not getting the academic enrichment they deserve and our children with academic challenges are not getting the attention and help they need. Meanwhile furloughs, budget cuts and the fallout from the cheating scandal have destroyed the morale of our many dedicated and talented teachers, who work with our students every day. We must eliminate waste and get every penny possible into the schools, instead of administrative offices downtown. APS is a community, all of us together, and we must work together for every one of our children.”
A Fulton County poll worker since 2008, Brown has never been active in politics. “My focus isn’t on being a good politician; it’s on being the best Board member I can, bringing the BOE and our community together for the benefit of all our children,” said Brown.