Is Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen doing a good job?
That’s the question the Atlanta school board will consider behind closed doors at tonight’s board meeting.
The board has kept the results of Carstarphen’s previous evaluations secret, as permitted under state law. But after past evaluations, the board chairman has released statements summarizing the results.
Carstarphen, a former Texas school superintendent, was hired in 2014 and charged with turning around the troubled Atlanta school system in the wake of a cheating scandal that drew national attention.
When she started, Atlanta’s academic performance was among the worst in the state. The most recent state test results show little improvement.
About a third of Atlanta students are on grade level in reading and writing. Atlanta students passed state tests at rates below the state and, for most subjects, at among the lowest rates in the metro area. Twenty-two Atlanta schools are at risk of potential state takeover if voters approve Gov. Nathan Deal’s Opportunity School District this fall.
However, under Carstarphen’s leadership, the district has focused on improving teaching and lesson planning throughout the city, reorganized central administrative departments, awarded staff pay raises and embarked on a plan to improve the city’s lowest performing schools. That plan includes closing some schools and putting others under the management of charter school groups.