In a lengthy interview with Atlanta Progressive News, Atlanta Board of Education Chairman Reuben McDaniel knocked one of his opponents, Mark Riley, for his involvement in the charter school movement.

Riley, who previously held the at-large Seat 8 on the BOE, said McDaniel is misrepresenting his position on charter schools.

There are three other candidates in the race: Tom Tidwell, Cynthia Briscoe Brown and Dave Walker.

In the APN interview, McDaniel mentioned that Riley was involved with the launch team for Atlanta Classical Academy, a proposed charter school in Buckhead.

Reporter Newspapers contacted McDaniel and asked what Atlanta Classical had to do with the school board race. The BOE likely will vote on the application in August before the November elections.

McDaniel said that Riley’s background indicates that he sees charter schools as the best way to reform education. He said he was mentioning Riley’s involvement with Atlanta Classical was away of establishing Riley’s connections with the charter school movement.

“My view is charter schools are a piece of the puzzle, but it’s certainly not the be all end all of the puzzle,” McDaniel said.

Riley said that’s not his position.

“I think they are a really important part of school reform, but do I think they’re the silver bullet, no,” Riley said.

He also said he has resigned from the Atlanta Classical launch team so that group’s efforts will not become tangled up in election politics. He is still listed on the Atlanta Classical website as a “valued advisor” to the group.

“I’ve actually resigned from their board because I don’t want anything I’m doing to reflect on them or anything else,” Riley said.

Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of