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AISD Trustees Vote to Extend Superintendent's Contract; Superintendent Carstarphen's Employment Contract Extended to June 2015

Austin, TX—Tonight, the Austin Independent School District's Board of Trustees voted to extend the term of Superintendent Meria Carstarphen's employment contract by one year to June 2015.

Carstarphen joined AISD in July 2009 with a four-year term running through June 2013. Last September, the board voted to extend the contract through June 30, 2014. With the board's vote tonight, the superintendent's contract will be extended to June 30, 2015.


"Overall, the Board is pleased with the progress made by the district under Dr. Carstarphen's leadership during the past year, and continues to believe that she is the right person to lead Austin ISD, especially in light of the many challenges facing our district going forward--including school finance, standardized tests, increased accountability, and competition from out-of-district charters and surrounding districts," Board of Trustees President Mark Williams said.


"Dr. Carstarphen has shown courage and a willingness to take on the difficult task of actually trying to adapt, evolve and innovate so our district is able to respond to the current environment."


AISD has done well, Williams said, outlining improvements and achievements for the 2011-12 school year. When compared to other large, urban school districts in Texas, known as the Big 8, AISD has the highest overall pass rate on the state's initial end of course Reading, Writing and Algebra I exams and has the highest campus passing rate for Adequate Yearly Progress under the federal accountability system.


In addition, the district's elementary and middle school students are making gains on the initial STAAR tests in every subject compared to the prior year's TAKS equivalency performance.


Williams recognized the district's increases in attendance, achievement, graduation rates and post-secondary enrollment rates as more students are enrolling in colleges and universities.


Even though the district has made gains in many areas, the board stressed the need to continue to narrow the academic achievement gap, especially among special education students and other student groups. In addition, the board underscored the need for more effective parental and community engagement.  


"As superintendent, I have been a passionate advocate for public education, AISD and our students," Superintendent Carstarphen said after the board decision. 


"Tonight's board decision represents a vote of confidence in our work together and in our district's achievements during the past three years. Amid declining resources and increasing standards, our community of educators and students continues to earn state and national recognition for our district's good work throughout Austin," she said. "It is a privilege to be on a team with educators who are champions for our children and community."


For more information, contact the Department of Public Relations and Multicultural Outreach at 414-2414.