Renee Glover May Be Angling for APS Superintendent


(APN) ATLANTA — According to sources, Renee Glover, CEO of the Atlanta Housing Authority, may be angling to become the next Superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools, and some Board of Education Members are considering proposing her for the position.

Presumably it would part of a scheme to privatize Atlanta’s public schools in a similar manner as Atlanta’s public housing.

APN was forwarded an email from a source familiar with the matter, which said the “Gang of Five” is preparing to push Glover’s nomination through with a simple majority, before any rules are changed to require the Superintendent be approved by a larger majority.

According to the email, two individuals who are in on the plan are Councilman Aaron Watson (Post 2-at-large), who previously served on the Atlanta Board of Education and was one of Glover’s rubber stamps on the Atlanta Housing Authority Board of Commissioners; and Norm Johnson, a former Board of Education President who was forced to resign in 1998 and now works for the Alisias PR firm.

The Alisias is a pro-privatization PR firm and think thank, which also has put a happy face on Glover’s mass public housing demolitions and evictions for several years.

As previously reported by APN, Alisias has been working for the Board Majority by doing PR work.  Alisias CEO Rick Write previously told APN it was pro bono work, and that some of it was done for Glenn Delk, a Buckhead privatization advocate who has represented the Gang of Five in court.

APN spoke with one School Board Member who said they would make sure that Glover is not elected.

This Board Member also recalled receiving an op-ed by Glover forwarded to them, and another Board Member remarking that it was part of an effort to promote Glover for Superintendent.

Delk recently promoted Glover in a Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods September 14, 2010, memo obtained by Atlanta Progressive News.  The memo was to Buckhead community activists, including former Councilwoman Mary Norwood (Post 2-at-large).

“I believe the debate now should be: Why shouldn’t taxpayers demand competition from providers in order to reduce costs and improve academic performance?  My proposed revolution is not radical or foreign to Atlanta.  Fifteen years ago, Renee Glover began a similar initiative with the Atlanta Housing Authority, converting from a system in which AHA owned and operated its housing units to one in which AHA manages private managers.  The results have been phenomenal.  The same theory applies, in my opinion, to APS,” Delk wrote.

Finally, a review of Glover’s recent op-ed posted on her blog on January 17, 2011 [she previously had not posted for six months], contains an unusually high proportion of discussion about children and schools.

Glover’s op-ed, “When is Community Not Community?,” states: “Community is not achievable when your life and your children’s lives are in danger on a daily basis.  You cannot retain a sense of hopefulness when you know your child is attending schools at the bottom of achievement rankings…”

After the demolitions, she writes, “What is often said is: ‘My children can now go out and play;’ or ‘My children are safer and are getting a better education.'”

Glover writes that public housing “destroyed… potential, especially the potential of children… We sought to build a model that was ‘children-centered’ and designed to capitalize on and celebrate human potential.”

“Mixed-use means… globally competitive neighborhood public schools, excellent early childhood learning centers… If you visit Atlanta’s revitalized neighborhoods, what you will see are… great children-centered destination places,” Glover wrote.

“So, our belief from the beginning is that community is more than just an address.  It is a place where, above all, children will flourish,” Glover wrote.

Diane Wright, former President of the Resident Advisory Board of public housing resident leaders, was horrified at the idea of Glover becoming the next APS Superintendent.  “We don’t want the public schools privatized,” Wright told APN.

“Tell them to go count the number of kids sleeping under the bridge that she put out [of public housing] and see how much she cares about children,” Wright said.

“She’s gonna eat all the meat off the schools like a buzzard,” Wright said.

Glover had previously been angling to become Secretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, but she was not selected.

Recently, Mayor Kasim Reed appointed new members to the AHA Board of Commissioners, and according to a report by Creative Loafing Atlanta magazine’s Fresh Loaf blog, the new appointees have been less willing to sign off on anything Glover wants without question.

APN has covered extensive fraud, fabrication, secrecy, and other misdeeds by the AHA under Glover’s leadership in a series of over 60 articles since 2007.

As previously reported by APN, AHA fraudulently claimed 96% of their residents would rather move than stay, even though residents were never given an option to stay and were simply asked whether they would like a voucher.

AHA fraudulently told their residents the funding for vouchers would continue in perpetuity, when in fact the funding must be approved each year by US Congress.

AHA fraudulently claimed the buildings were physically obsolete, when architectural reports show some of the buildings were structurally sound with minimal repair issues, but that they were not up to “market standards.”

AHA fraudulently told the public and City Council’s Community Development and Human Resources Committee that they never promised Council the opportunity to review any demolition applications sent, when that was specified in one of two resolutions by Councilwoman Felicia Moore demanding review, which incorporated promises made voluntarily by AHA.

As previously reported by APN, AHA has fabricated resident association meeting minutes, agenda, and sign-in sheets for the Resident Advisory Board and submitted these to HUD stating they were the organization’s minutes, agenda, and sign-in sheets.

As previously reported by APN, AHA refused to allow the public to see the demolition applications and wanted to charge APN about $300 to review documents which HUD requires be made public for review.

At least until recently, AHA’s Board of Commissioners essentially made their decisions in private committee meetings. Their monthly public meetings consisted of the Board voting on a consent agenda which has already been discussed and approved privately.

AHA has escorted advocate Terence Courtney out of Palmer House senior highrise, when residents invited him to their association meeting.

AHA interfered with independent researchers from Georgia State University as they interviewed 347 residents about their pre-relocation experiences.

AHA submitted demolition applications in 2007 and 2008 without showing them to residents or resident leaders, except in the case of those in Felicia Moore’s district.

More recently, APN reported that 24 of the seniors from evicted from Palmer House died in a three year period, about ten percent of the entire former community.

(END / 2011)

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