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Atlanta School Board Honored as Best in Nation

Atlanta keeps adding accolades to its collection of education awards. This time, the school board in Georgia's largest city is being hailed as the best in the nation by the Council of Urban Boards of Education, part of the National School Boards Association.

The award recognizes urban school boards for good-governance practices and progress in raising student achievement. The board's award comes after a biggie for Superintendent Beverly Hall, who is the American Association of School Administrators' national superintendent of the year for 2009. Dr. Hall also won the prestigious Richard R. Green award for urban education leadership from the Council of the Great City Schools in 2006.

That Atlanta's board won this year's CUBE award marks a huge turnaround for a governance panel that was meddling in the district's hiring and firing decisions just a decade ago. With strong backing from the city's corporate community, the school board's membership was overhauled and clear boundaries were set for what business they were to tend to. A key change: Requiring a supermajority of the board to overturn any of the superintendent's personnel decisions.

Other finalists for the award were the school boards in Broward County. Fla., Wake County, N.C., Jefferson County, Ky., and Baltimore.

If you are a governance geek and crave more reading on school boards, don't miss Ed Week's new report , including commentaries from three sitting school board members.

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