Board of Education
Seat 7: Courtney D. English
Courtney English is the youngest board member on the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) Board of Education. Elected in 2009 at 24 years old, Courtney is the youngest person to be elected citywide in any capacity in the city of Atlanta’s history. Since taking office, Courtney has championed parental choice and school autonomy, increased rigorous course offerings throughout the district, overhauled the teacher evaluation system, and instituted a number of policies to clean up years of administrative mismanagement, including a widespread cheating scandal.
Additionally, Courtney has worked to build public-private partnerships to address the city’s drop out crisis. To date, his efforts have generated over 2.5 million dollars in additional resources and resulted in the launch of Atlanta’s first drop-out prevention and recovery program. As chairperson of the board’s accountability commission, he served as one of the chief architects of APS’s five year strategic plan. Also a member of the budget commission, Courtney has fought to ensure the equitable distribution of resources to Atlanta’s neediest students, grew the system’s reserves from 44 million to over 90 million dollars, and put the district on track to pay down its unfunded pension fund liability after decades of neglect.
Prior to his election, Courtney was a founding teacher at BEST Academy, the first all male school in the city of Atlanta and actually taught 7th grade social studies in the same room he took 7th grade social studies as a student. During his time in the classroom, over 80% of Courtney’s students meet or exceeded their learning objectives. Courtney also served as grade level chairperson, and a coach of both the football team and the championship baseball team.
Outside the boardroom, Courtney has worked as a strategy and development consultant for various non- profit organizations focused on education and has led the Morehouse College pre-freshman summer program which is designed to prepare African-American males for college.
Quickly becoming a thought leader in education, Courtney is frequently a guest lecturer at Emory University, Spelman College, Morehouse College and Harvard University. He has also presented at various conferences on education including the National School Boards Association annual conference, the Council of Urban Boards of Education, and various programs for Teach for America.
Courtney is a native Atlantan, a proud graduate of Frederick Douglass High school. He is a graduate of Morehouse College, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. This May, Courtney is set to graduate from Columbia University’s Teachers College with a Masters of Arts in Organizational Psychology. Courtney is a member of the LEAD Atlanta class of 2011 and serves on the board of various non-profit organizations including the National Center for Global Engagement, Child First USA, and the Morehouse College Center for Teacher Preparation Advisory board.