Beasley came to Clayton County Schools in 2016 as its chief improvement officer, after seven years with the DeKalb County School District. In early 2017, he was named Clayton’s sole finalist for the superintendent’s job.
Immediately, he went on a listening tour, engaging parents, local residents and area businesses about what they wanted from their schools and district leadership. He said he was impressed with the number of people who expressed interest in giving time to volunteer.
“You’ve got to give us something to work with,” he implored his audience about their role in the district’s success.
Clayton County Schools doesn’t get the same level of attention its larger counterparts in metro Atlanta. But its accomplishments are just as noteworthy, he said.
The district saw the largest improvement since the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) began. The state’s report card measures a district on several variables, including the graduation rate and results on state standardized tests.
In 2016, the district had no schools eligible for Gov. Nathan Deal’s proposed Opportunity School District, made up of schools in need of state intervention to address poor student performance. In 2017, one school was added to the list of low performers.
The district has had full accreditation for years, more than some of its metro Atlanta neighbors can say. It currently boasts a 70 percent graduation rate.
“There are great things happening in Clayton County,” Beasley said before his address. “Often times, people come up with their own narrative about you if you’re not sharing your narrative. So part of our work and one purpose of the State of the Schools address is to share the narrative relative to the success of our school system.
“As a community, my message is we’re going to continue to make decisions and govern ourselves in such a way that our actions command the respect of others, period.”
In other Education news:
DeKalb Police confirmed to Channel 2 Action News that a parent entered the school with a weapon, but no “ill intent.”