Atlanta’s superintendent has long to-do list this school year

School board’s accountability commission starts hashing out goals for Carstarphen

Just like her 52,000 students, Atlanta Public Schools’ top leader will have plenty of work to do this school year. 

The school board’s accountability commission met in closed session Thursday to hash out goals it wants Superintendent Meria Carstarphen to hit during the 2017-2018 year. 

And her to-do list looks like it will be a long one. 

Carstarphen said the district is working to provide better, more detailed student data by demographics such as race, income, and special-needs. 

“Now that we’re making some traction around improvement we want to hit targets, but we want to hit targets for all student groups and while that is a real stretch-goal given where APS is and has been, it’s something that we can start planning for,” she said. 

She told the commission she wanted to talk to them privately about staffing, litigation, and real estate matters.

“Those things will be important because in order for me to be successful this year we’ll need to call those things out specifically, and I know I can’t discuss those in public,” she said. 

Georgia law allows public bodies to meet behind closed doors to discuss performance evaluations. 

The goal-setting session takes place at the beginning of every school year, said school board and commission chairman Courtney English.

English said goals for the superintendent will focus on everything from the district’s employee and student culture to academics, finances, and recruiting and retaining employees.

The accountability commission will prepare a list of recommended goals to bring to the full school board to consider. 

The board will provide a public progress report towards the end of the first semester. It conducts the superintendent’s annual evaluation in June. 

English praised Carstarphen this spring after her most-recent performance evaluation. He cited her efforts to improve student achievement and long-term budgeting, among other achievements. 

In January, the board extended her contract by one year, through June 30, 2019. 

Carstarphen, hired in 2014, makes a base salary of $382,500 a year, plus a monthly $2,000 allowance.

In other Education news:

Dr. Meria Carstarphen took the job four years ago and inherited the larges school cheating scandal in history.

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