Atlanta Public Schools superintendent Meria Joel Carstarphen. CASEY SYKES, CASEY.SYKES@AJC.COM
Photo: Casey Sykes/Casey Sykes
Photo: Casey Sykes/Casey Sykes

‘Political Rewind’ replay: When Atlanta schools were rescued by Nathan Deal’s office

On today’s edition of GPB’s “Political Rewind,” we eventually got around to a discussion of President Donald Trump’s view of Africa and Haiti as primitive latrines.

But we had in the studio Meria Carstarphen, superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools, who four years ago replaced Beverly Hall in the midst of a huge scandal over administrative-backed cheating on student test scores.

Carstarphen opposed Gov. Nathan Deal’s proposed constitutional amendment to allow state intervention in failing public schools – an initiative that crashed and burned at the ballot box in 2016.

Which made this exchange between Carstarphen and our other guest, AJC educational blogger Maureen Downey more than a little interesting:

Downey: “Has the state done anything to help APS since you’ve been here?”

Carstarphen: “Absolutely. We would have been buried in my first year, first month. The state went to the federal government. APS had burned so many bridges, used so many political chips, both locally, statewide and nationally, that we had nothing else to fall back on. They went in and made the case – “

Downey: “You say them. Who did that for you?”

Carstarphen: “That would be the governor’s office of student achievement. It came straight out of Governor Deal’s office. They called me and said, ‘These are the four serious problems you have. You will lose $60 million if someone doesn’t address this. You have to find and pick an operating model, because there are consequences in our state if you don’t…”

Host Bill Nigut and yours truly pretty much just sat back and listened. If you couldn’t catch it live, click below to listen now:

About the Author

Jim Galloway
Jim Galloway
Jim Galloway is a three-decade veteran of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution who writes the Political Insider blog and column.