Atlanta school chief on how politics played role in school zones. Should APS start fresh?

Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen sings the song “My Shot” from “Hamilton” with students during the annual State of the District event at King Middle School in the fall. BRANDEN CAMP/SPECIAL

FIFTH OF NINE VIDEO SEGMENTS

With Atlanta Public Schools voting today on proposed school closings, I sat down with Superintendent Meria Carstarphen for a long video interview. AJC multimedia journalist Erica Hernandez broke the interview into nine short segments. (Two to three minutes.)

In this segment, Carstarphen addresses the big question raised by the vote on the table today to close half-empty schools in east and south Atlanta when there are overcrowded schools down the road a few miles: Why not do a citywide redistricting to create better balance?

She discusses how politics influenced past redistricting decisions and the lack of will among parents now to undo it all and start over fresh.

Here is a link to the first video.

Link to the second segment.

Link to the third segment.

Link to the fourth segment.


Reader Comments 0

19 comments
MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Still no discussion of improving instruction or of community-based education.

Ms. Csrstarphen continues to address education as the CEO of a commodities corporation would think, not an educator.

The contrast between the educational minds of superintendents Meria Carstarphen and Steve Green of the DCSS is stark and profound.

My choice for a better and more productive school system is the model proposed by Dr. Green.

catshoes
catshoes

The best way to tackle the problems APS faces is to do away with APS as we know it- break it up into separate small school districts. Neighborhoods within each school zone would have more input into the school leadership, curriculum, etc.  Having experienced both small very well-run systems and APS, the small systems have more accountability and MUCH better results. And, money doesn't get wasted on useless central office employees. 

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

Hey you voucher people - are you not for personal responsibility?

I will gladly support a voucher. If you remove your child from public school and your child performs well at the end of the year on the same state tests that public school students are forced to take, you get a rebate of the education taxes YOU paid for that school year.

You do not get other people's money for your personal choice.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Public education is the foundation on which our republic would need to stand in Jefferdon's mind. That is why Jefferson had placed on his tombstone for posterity that he had been the founder or father of the University of Virginia and not that he had been President of the United States.

We are failing our nation and its continuation if we turn public education into a business model.

time for reform
time for reform

@MaryElizabethSings 

In Jefferson's day "public education" was defined as schooling becoming part of every child's life. Private or otherwise.

But you refuse to understand that.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

You are misinformed. Jefferson supported public education for all children paid for by public taxes but the wealthy legislatures in Virginia would not support the young Jefferson's bill because these privileged men did not want to subsidize the education of the poor. These limited and self-serving men lacked Jefferson's visionary mind for creating a literate America which would ensure the continuing viability of our democratic republic.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Someone has written that government should be cultivated like a garden not used and polluted for profit

That was actually Jefferson's vision for our nation as opposed to Alexander Hamilton's.

Jefferson believed in cultivating the nation's governing via the people, cultivating the minds of America's citizens, and cultivating the land, itself, which now has meaning in cultivating the Earth. All of this nurturing, Jefferson believed, was necessary to the survival, long term, of our American ideals.

Donald Trump, with his business and private market mind, has no understanding of Jefferson's mind and spirit, imho.

BurroughstonBroch
BurroughstonBroch

@MaryElizabethSings  What is the relevance of your comment to this post? I am chuckling about your use of "imho" since I've never observed any humility in your comments.


MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Education must change back to a service and nurturing profession instead of turning into a business model, which is more limited in its vision for our nation's future.

Our democratic republic's continuation will depend upon the enlightened education of all of America's citizens.

time for reform
time for reform

Tuition vouchers and a free marketplace for education choices would solve this problem without politics and squabbles.

TruthReallyHurts
TruthReallyHurts

@time for reform Vouchers will not work, simply because they would not cover the full cost of attending a quality, accredited private school. 


And so what you would have would be a bunch of "mom and pop" private schools popping up everywhere, promising to be an alternative to those evil public schools. The founders of said schools would soon find out just how difficult it is to run a quality educational facility, and would fold. Prior to that, the instruction going on in said schools would most likely not be up to par without trained, accredited teachers. 


The losers would be the students/parents in the end.

BurroughstonBroch
BurroughstonBroch

@TruthReallyHurts @time for reform  Vouchers wouldn't pay enough? APS receives $15,039 in revenue per pupil in 2016, according to the Georgia DOE. My grandchildren attend a good, accredited private school for about $9,500 per year.

time for reform
time for reform

@TruthReallyHurts

High-priced Westminster School isn't the only private school. 

The average Catholic school, for instance, is priced well within the amount each tuition voucher would provide if based on per student costs at local public schools.

Furthermore, vouchers would make the entire range of private schools affordable for more families.

Parents would finally have choices beyond the local zip code public school.

And competition would finally bring innovation to failing zip code schools.

Astropig
Astropig

@TruthReallyHurts @time for reform


"Vouchers will not work, simply because they would not cover the full cost of attending a quality, accredited private school. "


It would be nice if you would just admit that you don't want black and poor kids going to school with your kids.It would save a lot of verbal gymnastics.

BurroughstonBroch
BurroughstonBroch

@ AvgGeorgian

The school is growing and is adding another building. Student body is 1,000 and standardized test scores are rising.

Not failure, despite what you hope.