NBES Nominee Resigns as Atlanta Superintendent - Update
Clarification: An earlier version of this post said that Hall announced her resignation; she announced that she will leave at the end of her current contract.
The Senate has been dithering since June over whether or not to confirm Beverly L. Hall's status as a member of the National Board for Education Sciences, the advisory group for the Education Department's research arm, and developments over the weekend may have complicated matters even further.
As the Associated Press reported this morning, Hall announced over the weekend that she would step down as Atlanta's schools superintendent after her current contract expires in June 2011. The announcement comes in the middle of a sweeping state investigation of alleged cheating during the 2009 Criterion-Referenced Competency Test, the state's achievement test.
The American Association of School Administrators had named Hall the 2009 Superintendent of the Year for her work in the district, which they called a model for urban school reform. Hall introduced many programs similar to the reforms seen in New York's Children First initiative, San Diego's Blueprint for Student Success, and elsewhere, including: Project GRAD's intensive reading blocks; the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-sponsored reorganization of large comprehensive high schools into small academies; and General Electric Foundation-sponsored science and math programs. Hall was intended to provide a practitioner's viewpoint on the board, which recently has grappled with questions of how researchers should work with districts to evaluate reforms.
Institute for Education Sciences Director John Q. Easton said that it is too early to know if this will have any any effect on her nomination and much may depend on what she ends up doing next. We'll have to wait and see.