Atlanta school board’s new leader calls student equity top priority


The new Atlanta Board of Education chairman named student equity the district’s top priority during his first meeting as leader.

Jason Esteves, 34, will serve a two-year term as board chairman after a unanimous vote Monday by the nine-member board.

He announced the creation of an equity task force charged with making sure the board has a policy to guarantee equitable treatment of students. The task force also will monitor the policy’s implementation, which will include reviewing all aspects of the district’s operation from funding to classrooms.

“I want to make sure that this board, as we look at all the various issues that we tackle, we are looking at it through the lens of equity,” he said.

Esteves tapped board member Byron Amos to lead that effort.

Esteves works as assistant general counsel at Equifax and was first elected to the school board in 2013. In November, he was unopposed in the race to retain his at-large seat 9.

Esteves taught in Houston with the Teach for America program after graduating from the University of Miami.

He serves on the boards of Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, or GALEO, and the Latin American Association.

He takes over the chairman post from Courtney English, another former TFA teacher who ran unsuccessfully for an Atlanta City Council post instead of seeking to return to the school board. Former board vice chairman Nancy Meister nominated Esteves to be chairman, praising him as an “outstanding colleague” as well as dependable and transparent.

The board unanimously selected returning board member Eshé Collins as the new vice chairman. Meister will lead the board’s budget commission.

The new board includes six incumbents and three newcomers. All nine were sworn in Monday in front of an audience of about 75 family members and Atlanta school employees.

In other Education news:



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Education

‘Basic needs aren’t being met’: Schools run behind on maintenance
‘Basic needs aren’t being met’: Schools run behind on maintenance

LaTonya Hill is certain her classroom is making her sick. The Dresden Elementary School special education teacher has spent more than two weeks out of her classroom battling sinus and upper respiratory infections she said were not common before she began working at the school in 2016. At first, she attributed the health problems to working with children...
Emory professor investigated for using racial epithet again
Emory professor investigated for using racial epithet again

A white Emory University law school professor is being investigated for using a racial epithet after saying the same word in a classroom discussion three months ago, officials said. “Professor Paul Zwier has been placed on administrative leave following reports that he recently repeated the same racial slur that he used in a classroom lecture...
‘You can’t be what you can’t see.’ Black teachers benefit black kids
‘You can’t be what you can’t see.’ Black teachers benefit black kids

Earlier this week, I shared this Marian Wright Edelman quote: “You can’t be what you can’t see.” That may explain why another study finds black students benefit from having black teachers. A Johns Hopkins working paper found that if a black student has one or two black teachers in elementary school, the student is...
Georgia university creates scholarship for hurricane-damaged counties
Georgia university creates scholarship for hurricane-damaged counties

Georgia Southwestern State University announced a program Monday that will offer scholarships starting next fall for first-year students in 56 southwest Georgia counties impacted by Hurricane Michael. “Hurricane Michael devastated much of our state, with Southwest Georgia taking the brunt of the impact,” said the university’s president...
Study reports how race matters in the classroom
Study reports how race matters in the classroom

Race matters in the classroom, with black students who are exposed to a black teacher doing better in school, a new research report says. The paper, titled “The Long-Run Impacts of Same-Race Teachers,” found “causal evidence” that black students who were randomly assigned to a black teacher were more likely to graduate and to...
More Stories