The Atlanta Board of Education has announced it will not renew the contract of Superintendent Meria Carstarphen. According to the AJC, Chairman Jason Esteves made the announcement after an executive session this afternoon.
Carstarphen responded to the board’s decision via her blog: “As I have expressed throughout the community for the past few months, I had a sincere desire for a contract extension so that our team and I could complete the vision and charge I was hired to achieve for the benefit of Atlanta’s children: Rebuild trust and restore pride in Atlanta Public Schools and position it for the future, especially after the largest cheating scandal in the history of public education.” Read her full statement at this link.
The school board had actually decided in July not renew Carstarphen’s contract, but delayed making it public so as not to disrupt the start of the new school year.
Esteves did say how many board members were against renewing her contract, despite being confronted by parents about who was for and against the renewal.
Esteves said he hoped Carstarphen would remain on the job until her contract expires June 30, 2020.
Carstarphen, who was hired in 2014, has been both praised and vilified for her attempts to turn around Atlanta Public Schools in the wake of the standardized test cheating scandal.
The Atlanta Federation of Teachers issued a statement Sunday insisting that Carstarphen “must go.” The teachers group said the superintendent had pursued “privatization” by outsourcing the daily operations of six schools to charter school groups. However, her tenure had been championed by U.S. Rep. John Lewis, former mayors Shirley Franklin and Andrew Young and the Buckhead Coalition.
Just last month, APS posted improved Milestone testing scores and graduation statistics and Carstarphen celebrated the topping out of the soon-to-open Howard Middle School in the Old Fourth Ward.