Atlanta school chief: APS cheating scandal still casts a shadow on district

APS Superintendent Meria Carstarphen speaks to parents last month in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

SIX AND SEVEN OF NINE VIDEO SEGMENTS WITH APS SUPERINTENDENT

With Atlanta Public Schools in the midst of change — the school board approved two elementary school closings this week — I sat down with Superintendent Meria Carstarphen for a long video interview on the challenges and future of the district.

AJC multimedia journalist Erica Hernandez broke the interview into nine short segments. (Two to three minutes.)

In videos 6 and 7, Carstarphen addresses a related issue: Does the will exists across communities to improve Atlanta schools or has the cheating scandal created lasting doubts?

Here is a link to the first video.

Link to the second segment.

Link to the third segment.

Link to the fourth segment.

Link to the fifth segment.

In this segment, Carstarphen addresses whether there is community will to help Atlanta schools.


In this one, the school chief discusses the shadow of the cheating scandal.


Reader Comments 0

25 comments
Dems hate truth
Dems hate truth

It should still reflect on them. They got off and still work there.

Let's not forget it was democrats who did this. When republicans first started to point out something was not right the democrats started calling them racists.

Saying things like Republicans just don't believe that black kids can achieve.

Democrats were denying poor black kids the right to a decent education so they could defraud the government and collect bonuses. 

I don't think they ever had to pay back the money they stole.


The fact is democrats need their supporters stupid. The chief architect of Obamacare said so multiple times himself and Hillary's campaign managers emails even started that "we work hard to keep our supporter uninformed so they can more easily be manipulated".  Democrats need dumb people who think they are victims. Teaching nonsense like diversity instead of math is what is wrong.

EdJohnson
EdJohnson

This is the first of several documentary videos a director at the National Council of Teachers of English brought to my attention earlier this week out of concern Carstarphen and her school board are doing to Atlanta what deformers of public education did to Chicago.  Please watch and hear the Chicago "low school utilization, lowest performing schools" script Carstarphen and her school board are deploying to close Atlanta public schools serving mostly "Black" children and to force in market-based "choice."

https://youtu.be/t46BvxBHUhE

BurroughstonBroch
BurroughstonBroch

APS is part of a cultural problem in public school education - social promotion. Two daughters teach in Fulton and Gwinnett and have similar experiences. They cannot hold a student back at the end of the year for inadequate performance - that is the principal's decision. And they will lose their jobs if they push the principal too hard. And the principal is mandated from above to push the students through the system. So almost no students are held back, regardless of performance.

It's part of the Lake Woebegone philosophy - where all of the kids are above average.

atlanta spirit
atlanta spirit

I know many of you believe the lack of enough transgender bathrooms is hurting student performance but that is not the real problem.  

The real problem is that our schools have taught that the  family structure called for in the bible (one man, one wife) is obsolete and judgmental.  As welfare replaced fathers, the family has disintegrated and baby momma's with different sperm donors have become the norm.  The liberal secular education taught to our urban youth has been put into action and the results are there for all to see.  Poor discipline, in grained victim hood, entitlement without sacrifice and grades without work.  Then the big ugly test comes and the erasers are not there to doctor the results.

3 choices: cheat again, attack the test as unfair or admit that the breakdown of the family has ugly consequences.  The politically correct solution is to attack the test and give everyone a participation medal- which is what I expect APS to do.



atlanta spirit
atlanta spirit

@Starik @atlanta spirit you must not have kept up with the APS trial which showed the Principal at Parks was having affairs with so many teachers he lost count.

Surelyyoujest
Surelyyoujest

Or, as a coach at a rival HS once told the parents who were complaining about how many games the team lost (and just before he was fired) "...you can't make chicken salad out of chicken Shiite..."

Surelyyoujest
Surelyyoujest

..."We will never have a better class of criminals until we get a better class of criminals..." -  Boss Hogg (or somebody like that) 

Astropig
Astropig

It SHOULD still cast a shadow over APS.I think until we get some closure on a few things,it's still an elephant over there in the corner of the room.


1) Several defendants are still involved in appeals of their convictions.These people still maintain that they're right and the court was wrong and they didn't do anything unethical or illegal.This,despite voluminous evidence to the contrary.It's their right to appeal,but they've been convicted in a fair trial and have yet to pay their debt to society.


2) Last I heard, APS has still not provided any help to the victims of the cheating 


(http://www.myajc.com/news/local-education/victims-atlanta-schools-cheating-still-waiting-for-help/LaXExAKkQTXQphA5geimyN/).


It's never too late to do the right thing,but some of these kids are now (probably) in their mid-twenties,so the strategy seems to be to just wait until they die off.


3) The ringleader never faced real justice.Beverly Hall had her case sent to, ahem, a "higher court",but it looks for all the world that she got away scot-free in her earthly life.She's emblematic of how institutions take care of themselves first and foremost and destroy individuals lives with impunity.I'm not sure that she ever received any formal censure for her actions.That would be a good way to begin amends.


IMHO, the wounds are still too fresh and memories are too long to just "move on" from this.There needs to be some real contrition from APS and not just some lawyer -approved press release that expresses "regret" for what happened.

BurroughstonBroch
BurroughstonBroch

@ Astropig

Beverly Hall was superintendent 1999-2010. The youngest student under her thumb is now 13 and the oldest is 37.

BurroughstonBroch
BurroughstonBroch

Thousands of under-educated young folk kicked onto the street with APS diplomas and no skills. And with the blessing and direction of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and initially by the AJC.

class80olddog
class80olddog

Is isn't just APS schools, either.  By removing the requirement for a graduation test, it made it easier for failing schools to drastically improve their graduation rates without actually improving.  If the EOCT counts for 20% of a grade, a teacher could still "give" a student a "C", even if the student scored zero on the test.  That is the sort of legal cheating that goes on now.  That and cheating on the way they report absenteeism.

class80olddog
class80olddog

"Carstarphen addresses whether there is community will to help Atlanta schools. "  You mean, like, are there parents who will actually get their kids to school on time, every day, and who will support the school in disciplining their children?  I doubt it very seriously.

class80olddog
class80olddog

Of course the cheating scandal is still following APS - they have not addressed any of the real causes of failure in their system.  In fact, I would bet that you could uncover some lies right now in the way they report their absenteeism and truancy rate.  It is the same old, same old.  APS will never rise until it addresses discipline, attendance and social promotion.  The trouble is that they would have to slay some PC gods in order to accomplish any change, and that just ain't gonna happen.  Carstarphen just takes their money and in a few years will move on to greener pastures. 

Surelyyoujest
Surelyyoujest

"APS cheating scandal still casts a shadow on district " - GEE, ya think?  And they're paying her how much for this revelation?  Beverly Hall is still laughing from her grave....

time for reform
time for reform

Closing a few schools isn't the "change" parents are looking for. Nor can they reasonably have faith the system will ever reform itself.

Enter Education Secretary DeVos.

BurroughstonBroch
BurroughstonBroch

Carstarphen said in another whining article that 10,000 of "her" 52,000 students are in charter schools. Those 10,000 are students over which she has less control and which reduce her budget. The parents of the 10,000 cannot afford private schools and are trying to escape APS.

There's a statistic for you.

Astropig
Astropig

@BurroughstonBroch


If I were one of the parents of the kids who's schools were shut down,I'd make a beeline for the state charter commission or get together with some like-minded parents and try to start a charter in my area.Obviously,there is a need there,and the economics of charters make it more feasible to open and maintain a smaller school.


I personally think that Carstarphen was openly campaigning for a job in a never-never Clinton administration DOE. Now that that is off the table for at least 4 years (and maybe 8), she'll have to move horizontally when she collects enough enemies to make her position here untenable.A lot of these rockstar supers move around a lot.It's how the eduacracy takes care of its best politicians.

BurroughstonBroch
BurroughstonBroch

I suspect she updated her resume' the morning after the Presidential election and put it on the edbiz front page. I believe she will be gone before next school year begins.