North Atlanta High Principal Taylor decides to stay

Principal Howard “Gene” Taylor has rescinded his resignation and is staying as the leader of North Atlanta High School after all.

Taylor wrote in a letter to the community Thursday that he decided against leaving after discussions with Superintendent Erroll Davis about making changes that would give greater support to principals.

Taylor said principals can’t be held accountable for achieving results while functioning “as a micromanaged middle level manager.”

He said principals must be given more control over which teachers work with children and have support for school functions including textbooks, on-time bus schedules and quality substitute teachers.

Atlanta Superintendent Erroll Davis said in a statement Thursday that he was pleased to have Taylor stay on.

Taylor submitted his resignation last week, was promoted to an executive director position on Monday and then had the promotion spiked by the school board on Tuesday.

Davis said he will make changes as a result of the back-and-forth over Taylor.

He said Atlanta Public Schools will immediately implement quarterly meetings with principals and parents from each school cluster.

In addition, Davis said principals will be able to provide feedback about the quality of services received from the central office.

“We will remove the barriers so that principals and teachers can focus on the real work of educating our children,” Davis said.

After Taylor resigned, Davis attempted to lure him back by promoting him to a regional director position with oversight of about 20 schools.

But the school board scuttled that move in favor of having an open application process for the school district’s North Region executive director.

The 1,600-student North Atlanta High is Georgia’s most expensive school, with a $147 million cost for new facilities that opened last month.

Taylor became principal 11 months ago after Davis removed the school’s previous administration team.

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