During a July 24, 1933, radio address, President Franklin D. Roosevelt used the phrase “first 100 days” as he highlighted his administration’s work – including the enactment of 13 major laws –at the start of his presidential career. Since then, “the first 100 days’ have come to serve as a benchmark to measure the work of a president or other public official.
As it happens, today – November 19, 2020 – marks my 100th day leading Atlanta Public Schools.
As part of my personal mission, I believe strongly in the inner strength, power, and talent of our children and in strong teachers and schools. With those things combined, we can maximize our students’ talents so they can pursue whatever life purposes they choose.
Joining Atlanta Public Schools as its superintendent 100 days ago allowed me to continue that personal mission rooted in a passionate belief that education is the greatest equalizer.
Although all 100 of initial days with this community have occurred mostly with teaching and learning in the virtual space, we have stood up to the challenges of the school year brought on by pandemic and protest. We have kept our community safe while also striving for a quality education no matter where our students sit. And we have made strides toward equity as we work to establish a new Center for Equity and Social Justice within our school district.
I don’t pretend – not even for a moment – that any of this occurred without the hard work of a lot of people before me and with me. In fact, I know that only together have we made the progress we have seen so far and only together will we find more success over the next 100 days and many days thereafter.