Vincent Torres, president of the Board of Trustees, released the following statement about Superintendent Meria Carstarphen being named as the sole finalist to lead Atlanta Public Schools:
AISD has made significant progress under Dr. Carstarphen’s leadership during the past five years—from achieving an all-time high graduation rate to maximizing dwindling resources wisely to ensure Austin schools offer all of our students the quality education they deserve to prepare for college, career and life.
As an educator and civil rights champion, Dr. Carstarphen has led the district’s honest and unfiltered review of its programs and performance to reinforce efforts that are working and reform areas that have required improvement. She has whole heartedly spearheaded the district’s shift away from a culture of testing to one that supports the whole child—and every child in our increasingly diverse student population. With equal parts hearts and smarts, Dr. Carstarphen has led AISD during a period of transformative change in Austin and the charge to offer all families in all of our communities a rich portfolio of options as the right thing to do and as a challenge to increasing competition from private and state charter schools.
We thank Dr. Carstarphen, her leadership team and all of our teachers and team members for the achievements and positive progress during the past five years, which has made AISD a nationally recognized school district for its commitment to educating the whole child and every child. AISD continues to move in the right direction and will continue to support our schools as they work to increase students’ performance.
If the superintendent accepts the opportunity to lead Atlanta Public Schools, we will work with Dr. Carstarphen and the district’s well-respected leadership team to ensure a smooth transition. AISD also will provide the community with a timely update about the board’s next steps, including the process for a search for a new superintendent to lead Austin’s public schools.