DeKalb Schools: Superintendent will leave post in 2020

DeKalb County School District Superintendent Steve Green, who has led the district nearly four years, will leave his position at the end of the 2019-2020 school year, officials said Friday.

Green has decided not to extend his current contract, which ends next summer. A national search will commence in June.

“We are grateful to Superintendent Green for his service to our district for the last four years,” said Michael Erwin, DeKalb County Board of Education chairman. “He is a dynamic leader with a strong focus on student achievement leading to higher education, work and life-long learning.”

VIDEO: Previous coverage of Steve Green

Green told the school board of his decision last week.

“The DeKalb County Schools community is truly inspirational. I am proud to have the opportunity to help lead our students to achieve educational excellence alongside our exceptional teachers and staff,” said Dr. Green. “I’m excited to see what the future holds for our District and our students – both have limitless potential.”

The school district regained full accreditation during Green’s time at the helm, leading the district through a process of revival that began in 2013, pushed by Gov. Nathan Deal’s decision to remove six of the district’s nine board members amid issues with management and a $14 million deficit. The district currently boasts reserves in excess of $100 million.

Green was called a change agent when he first arrived, but little has come to fruition under his leadership. The district boasts its highest graduation rate, but standardized test scores are flat and teacher turnover continues at the highest rate among metro Atlanta school districts.

The district has come under fire for its hiring, with the district employing hundreds of teachers through certification waivers, which allow uncertified teachers to lead classrooms. Many were supposed to work toward full certification, but many remain on staff without clearly laid out certification paths.

Several hires in recent years that came under fire were eventually found to have been avoidable by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, including a teacher forced to resign in late 2017 after The AJC reported she had been fired from a previous district for allegedly abusing students. Another teacher was forced to retire in 2016 but was rehired in 2017 as a substitute despite a note in her personnel file stating she could no longer be employed by the district. A high school math teacher was hired in 2018 after abruptly leaving several jobs at different metro Atlanta school districts. He later walked off the job at Tucker High School and was allowed to resign.

Green's cabinet has been in a bit of upheaval as well, with the reassignment of the chief of staff and losses of the chief operations officer, chief information officerchief legal officer, chief human capital management officer and chief communications and community relations officer in the last 10 months.