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Leader of SACS says education at breaking point

The current system of education in this county "is no longer suitable or effective for students," and has reached "a breaking point," according to the chief executive officer of the parent firm of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Dr. Mark Elgart says the current struggles in education are the result of a system that is "no longer adequate for the expectations we hold."

Elgart calls the current education system "institutionally centric."

In a WSB Radio interview on "Atlanta's Morning News Sunday," Elgart said schools need to be "centered around the learner," explaining that students learn at different paces, and that the time has come for "a fundamental shift in how we govern schools, how we fund schools."

SACS recently detailed mismanagement and other governance problems involving the DeKalb County school board. 

That report prompted Gov. Nathan Deal to suspend and replace 6 board members.

A federal judge has asked the Georgia Supreme Court to consider the constitutionality of the 2011 law that gave Deal the authority to take the action.

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News

  • Atlanta police have been handing out the flyers across the city telling people that a permit is needed to give food to the homeless. The fliers are being used as a warning to those trying to help the homeless. Channel 2’s Justin Wilfon found one group who received more than a warning. Instead of getting praise for helping Atlanta’s homeless, Adele Maclean and Marlon Kautz say they’re getting punished for it. “We’re looking at a citation,” Maclean said. Channel 2 Action News’ cameras were there when police wrote the pair a ticket for handing out food to the homeless without a permit. “I mean outrageous, right? Of all the things to be punished for, giving free food to people who are hungry?” Maclean told Wilfon. TRENDING STORIES: Worker killed after woman drives onto sidewalk on busy road, police say There's a Christmas tree shortage in metro Atlanta Arrests made in violent robberies of Asian-owned businesses The pair said they give food to the homeless every Sunday in Atlanta’s Woodruff Park, and have never heard of needing a permit. “It seems ridiculous to me that they would be spending their time and resources on stopping people from feeding the homeless,” said Maclean said. Wilfon contacted the city to find out what was going on. A city representative said the Fulton and DeKalb County boards of health both require permits to give food to the homeless and the city of Atlanta enforces those requirements. While the requirements aren’t new, Atlanta police told Wilfon they recently started more strictly enforcing them for several reasons. The city believes there are better ways to help the homeless, like getting them into programs and shelters. They are also taking issue with the litter the food distributions leave behind. Ben Parks, who runs a nonprofit for the homeless, told Wilfon he can see the argument from both sides. “I understand where the city’s coming from. I understand when they see groups come in and leave a bunch of trash behind,' Parks said. While this ordinance is also on the books in DeKalb County, DeKalb police told Wilfon Wednesday that they are not using police to enforce it. They’re leaving that up to the health department.
  • A candidate for mayor says she has always wondered if the current mayor of Atlanta won his seat fair and square. Mary Norwood lost to current Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed in 2009. Make sure to tune in to WSB-TV as Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood go head-to-head in a live runoff debate moderated by Channel 2’s Justin Farmer, LIVE on Sunday, Dec. 3 at 5 p.m.  Norwood told Channel 2’s Dave Huddleston that she never spoke publicly about the accusation because what she said she knew what happened wasn't significant enough to upset the entire system.  [WATCH: Keisha Lance Bottoms speaks on Channel 2 Action News This Morning] But our partners at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution got a copy of a transcript of a private June meeting where she brought up the 2009 election.  'I just want you to be who you say you are, live where you say you live and vote once,' Norwood told Huddleston.  [WATCH: Mary Norwood speaks on Channel 2 Action News This Morning] Norwood raised concerns about the 2009 election, which she lost to Reed by a couple of hundred votes.  TRENDING STORIES: Worker killed after woman drives onto sidewalk on busy road, police say There's a Christmas tree shortage in metro Atlanta Arrests made in violent robberies of Asian-owned businesses She told Huddleston that she always suspected there was voter fraud.  'I know there are instances where individuals were asked to vote in the election,' Norwood said.  She said individuals who didn’t live in Atlanta still voted in the mayor's race.   [SPECIAL SECTION: The Atlanta Mayor’s Race] Norwood said she's never talked publicly about the accusation, but privately has mentioned it to several groups, including last June, at a meeting that was recorded and leaked to the AJC. 'I have spoken privately to many groups, including last night to the NAACP, about the fact that I did not go public with some things I was concerned about with that election,' Norwood said.  ATLANTA MAYOR QUICK FACTS The city’s last five mayors have been African-American The last 27 have been Democrats There have only ever been two Republican mayors of Atlanta Shirley Franklin was the first female mayor of Atlanta. The next mayor will be the second Only four former Atlanta mayors were born in Atlanta Click here for more facts about Atlanta mayors Huddleston contacted Reed for a comment on this story Wednesday. His spokesperson responded and said in part: “If Mary Norwood had proof that the election results were invalid in 2009, she should have stepped forward and challenged the results then. She did not because she could not. She has no evidence to back up her claims. She has been a public official for the past four years and never raised any concerns about the integrity of our voting system.' Norwood said after the 2009 race, she joined the Fulton County Elections Board to get a new director on staff.  She told Huddleston that she's confident the Dec. 5 mayor's race will be fair, accurate and impartial.
  • A disabled man said early Black Friday shopping turned into a nightmare for him. Lonnie George said he has a condition that causes chronic pain in his spine. He said he can’t use regular shopping carts, so he relies on electric riding carts to do his shopping. That wasn’t the case when he went to the Walmart in Douglasville. “I said, ‘Where are the riding carts?' and he said, ‘Well, sir, I don’t have them out today.’ I said, ‘Why don’t you have them out?’ and he said, ‘We had to put them up because of safety factors,’” George said. TRENDING STORIES: Woman found after disappeared while traveling to daughter's home for Thanksgiving Thousands in need get free holiday feast thanks to volunteers Man fixing tire at gas station killed on Thanksgiving morning The man said he asked to speak with a manager and was told the same thing. He said no one from the store offered to help him get the things he wanted, so he had to leave. “There was a TV I wanted to get and I wasn’t able to get that and some other items,” he said. Channel 2’s Lauren Pozen called Walmart and got the following statement from the director of national media relations: “No one should be denied a cart. We are looking into the situation and will take any appropriate action.” George said he feels like he was given excuses that didn’t add up. “People walks through here every day and it might be a little crowded. They got two eyes. They can see,” he said. George said he is now considering filing a complaint through the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • The Trump administration backtracked Friday on its decision to order the Palestinians' office in Washington to close, instead saying it would merely impose limitations on the office that it expected would be lifted after 90 days.Last week, U.S. officials said the Palestine Liberation Organization mission couldn't stay open because the Palestinians had violated a provision in U.S. law requiring the office to close if the Palestinians try to get the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israelis. The move triggered a major rift in U.S.-Palestinian relations that threatened to scuttle President Donald Trump's ambitious effort to broker Mideast peace before it ever got off the ground.Yet the United States delayed shuttering the office for a week while saying it was working out the details with the Palestinians, before abruptly reversing course late Friday, as many Americans were enjoying a long Thanksgiving Day weekend. State Department spokesman Edgar Vasquez said the U.S. had 'advised the PLO Office to limit its activities to those related to achieving a lasting, comprehensive peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.'Vasquez said even those restrictions will be lifted after 90 days if the U.S. determines the Israelis and Palestinians are engaged in serious peace talks. The White House, in an effort led by Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, has been preparing a comprehensive peace plan to present to both sides in the coming months.'We therefore are optimistic that at the end of this 90-day period, the political process may be sufficiently advanced that the president will be in a position to allow the PLO office to resume full operations,' Vasquez said.The reversal marked a serious departure from the administration's interpretation of the law only a week earlier. Officials had said then that, one way or another, the office had to close because Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in a U.N. speech in September, had called on the ICC to investigate and prosecute Israelis. That same law, though, says that the president can let the office re-open after 90 days despite an ICC push if serious Israeli-Palestinian talks are underway.Asked how the Trump administration explains its new interpretation of about what must happen if the Palestinians call for an ICC investigation, Vasquez said: 'These actions are consistent with the president's authorities to conduct the foreign relations of the United States.'There were no indications that the Trump administration had initially moved to close the office as part of a premeditated strategy to strengthen its hand in eventual peace talks. Instead, officials explained the move by saying Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in a strict interpretation of the law, determined that Abbas' speech had crossed the legal line.The chaos that ensued after the announcement, with the U.S. unable for several days to explain if the office was truly closing and when, indicated it had caught much of the government off-guard.Still, the move led the Palestinians to issue an angry response last weekend threatening to suspend all communication with the U.S. Additionally, senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat accused the U.S. of bowing to pressure from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government 'at a time when we are trying to cooperate to achieve the ultimate deal.'Vasquez said the original position had never been intended to create leverage or impose pressure. The State Department said that the administration is actively working to pursue lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace.The requirement about the mission closing stems from a little-noticed provision in U.S. law that says the U.S. cannot allow the Palestinians to have a Washington office if they back the international court's move to investigate or prosecute Israeli nationals for alleged crimes against Palestinians.Abbas said at the United Nations in September that the Palestinians had 'called on the International Criminal Court to open an investigation and to prosecute Israeli officials for their involvement in settlement activities and aggressions against our people.'The PLO is the group that formally represents all Palestinians. Although the U.S. does not recognize Palestinian statehood, the PLO maintains a 'general delegation' office in Washington that facilitates Palestinian officials' interactions with the U.S. government.The United States allowed the PLO to open a mission in Washington in 1994. That required President Bill Clinton to waive a law that said the Palestinians couldn't have an office. In 2011, under the Obama administration, the U.S. started letting the Palestinians fly their flag over the office, an upgrade to the status of their mission that the Palestinians hailed as historic.Israel opposes any Palestinian membership in U.N.-related organizations until a peace deal has been reached.The Israelis and Palestinians are not engaged in active, direct negotiations. But Trump's team, led by Kushner, is working to broker a deal aimed at settling the intractable conflict.The Trump administration has not disclosed details about its effort to achieve an agreement that ostensibly would grant the Palestinians an independent state in exchange for an end to its conflict with the Israelis. Kushner and other top Trump aides have been shuttling to the region to meet with Palestinians, Israelis and officials from Arab nations.The Palestinians, publicly supportive of the U.S. effort, are nonetheless skeptical because Trump's close ties to Israel suggest whatever deal he proposes might be unfavorable to them.___Reach Josh Lederman on Twitter at http://twitter.com/joshledermanAP
  • A man in the Tampa, Florida, area picked the wrong car to burglarize not realizing it was an unmarked Sheriff’s Office vehicle, according to deputies.  >> Read more trending news Stephen Titland, 49, was arrested on Wednesday night on charges of attempted burglary, seven counts of auto burglary, and loitering and prowling, WFTS reports.   Deputies said homeowners in a neighborhood in Trinity, Florida, caught Titland on video trying to break into seven cars, but he was unsuccessful since all the doors were locked.  The next day, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said Titland tried to break into a deputy’s unmarked vehicle while several deputies were inside, according to WFTS.  Deputies identified Titland as the man who attempted to burglarize the other vehicles from the night before, and arrested him. Officials told WFTS that Titland was already on a felony probation for another burglary and criminal mischief that happened in Pinellas County. Titland remains at the county jail on a $45,150 bond, according to jail records. 
  • Charlie Rose, who was fired this week by CBS News and whose program was cancelled by PBS in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations from multiple women, had accolades from two universities rescinded Friday.Panels at both Arizona State University and the University of Kansas met this week and coincidentally came to the same decision on the same day.Arizona's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication gave Rose an award for journalism excellence in 2015. But the actions reported about Rose were too 'egregious' to ignore, according to Dean Christopher Callahan.'The actions victimized young women much like those who make up the overwhelming majority of Cronkite students — young women who deserve to enter workplaces that reward them for their hard work, intelligence and creativity and where they do not have to fear for their safety or dignity,' Callahan said in a statement.Callahan said the action was mostly symbolic. But he hoped it would send a message that sexual misconduct would not be tolerated. The award has never been revoked since it was created in 1984. Past recipients include Bob Woodward, Diane Sawyer and Christiane Amanpour.The William Allen White Foundation, which supports journalism education at the University of Kansas, presented Rose an award last spring. The National Citation award has been bestowed on a journalist annually since 1950. Other recipients include Bob Woodward and Gwen Ifill.After the allegations against Rose surfaced, the foundation's board of trustees voted to revoke the honor. In a news release, officials said Rose 'does not exemplify the ideals of this award.'Eight women who worked for or wanted to work for Rose told the Washington Post Monday that the veteran newsman groped them, openly walked around nude or said sexually inappropriate things on the job.The fallout for Rose was swift. After initially suspending him, CBS News fired Rose from its morning show Tuesday. Three women at the network have since come forward with complaints with two saying he grabbed them inappropriately.PBS, which broadcasts his eponymous interview program, cut ties with Rose.In a statement earlier this week, Rose apologized for his actions and said he was 'deeply embarrassed.