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Home Schools LIVE BLOG: Board of Education Special Legislative Meeting and General Meeting – April 14, 2014

LIVE BLOG: Board of Education Special Legislative Meeting and General Meeting – April 14, 2014

by talkupaps

Thank you for following our live blog of the September Board of Education Meeting for Atlanta Public Schools.

View today’s agenda here:

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The meeting will begin soon.

11;57 am – Board meeting called to order.

Esteves, Brown, Collins, English, Amos and Grant present for roll call.

Legislative agenda approved.

Board enters into executive session to discuss personnel matters.

The board is expected to reconvene at 1:30pm.  Please tune back into our live blog at that time.

2:00pm – Awaiting the return of the BOE

2::55pm – Superintendent Davis gives media interviews.  Board of Education continues their executive session.

3:00pm – Meeting continues

Board Chair Courtney English reads BOE resolution.  Each member takes an opportunity to read a section of the resolution.

“Be it resolved that Dr. Meria Carstarphen will serve for 3 years…”

Board of Education has unanimously approved Dr. Meria Carstarphen as the next superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools.

The Atlanta Board of Education today voted unanimously to hire Meria Joel Carstarphen as Superintendent of the Atlanta Public Schools. Dr. Carstarphen brings nearly 20 years of education and experience in diverse, urban public school districts including Austin, Texas, Saint Paul, Minn. and the District of Columbia. She will lead and provide oversight to a district with an $850 million budget, 49,000 students, 7,000 employees, and more than 105 learning sites.

Dr. Carstarphen will help to rebuild the public’s trust and confidence in Atlanta Public Schools.  She comes to Atlanta with an impressive record in transformative educational leadership that has led to significant student performance gains.

“Today marks a critical step toward achieving educational excellence for our students.  This is an important moment for our children, communities and our city,” said Courtney D. English, Atlanta Board of Education chair. “Given her focus on the development of the whole child, and using a collaborative approach to see that students achieve, I have the utmost confidence in Dr. Carstarphen’s leadership. She is the right leader at the right time for our system who will deliver the best education possible to our students. It’s time for Atlanta to believe again.”

Dr. Carstarphen was selected as the sole finalist for superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools on March 27. Since then, she has attended more than 30 events in all six school board districts and every cluster, reaching 1,200 members of the community, including parents and community members leading up to today’s vote.

“Over the past two weeks, I have met with students, parents, educators and other local leaders and residents from across Atlanta who have shared with me their hopes and dreams for Atlanta Public Schools. I look forward to working with the Atlanta community to ensure that every child has access to a quality education so that they have quality choices in life,” said Dr. Carstarphen. “I’m honored and humbled by Atlanta’s belief and confidence in me as we work together to restore pride in Atlanta Public Schools.”

Dr. Carstarphen is excited to be in Atlanta. She is eager to join the Board of Education and the Atlanta community in working collaboratively to make Atlanta Public Schools the best in the nation.

Local and national leaders have expressed their support and endorsement of Dr. Carstarphen as a highly qualified and passionate leader who can restore the public’s trust and drive a successful future for Atlanta’s children. These leaders include former U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young, Great City Schools Executive Director Michael Casserly, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and City Council President Ceasar C. Mitchell.

As superintendent of Austin Independent School District since 2009, Dr. Carstarphen has made extraordinary achievements in academic excellence. They include:

  • Improved graduation rates to an all-time high of 82.5 percent and reduced longitudinal dropout
    rate by 25 percent
  • Increased the African American graduation rate to 79.6 percent, specifically African American males
    to 76.2 percent
  • Increased overall SAT and ACT exam scores
  • Increased college application rates to an all-time high of 92 percent
  • Improved attendance rates at all levels to 95 percent
  • Secured the system’s highest financial ratings by multiple rating agencies such as first ever and retained AAA bond rating, received awards for budget transparency and financial reporting
  • Received largest USDE Teacher Incentive Fund grant in country for $62.3 million

Dr. Carstarphen credits the support of an amazing team with these results. They were achieved in part due to efforts to move away from a culture of high-stakes testing to one that emphasizes the whole child, every child; social and emotional learning; equal arts-rich environments; alternative pathways to graduation and disciplinary program reform.

She managed Austin’s urban school district with an annual budget of $950 million; 12,000 employees; and 87,000 pre-K-12 students in 123 schools. Her professional experience includes teaching at the middle school level, and teaching elementary education in Seville, Spain, and Caracas, Venezuela. In leadership roles, she has led the Saint Paul Public Schools in Minnesota, and in accountability positions in urban public schools systems in the District of Columbia, Tennessee and Ohio.

Dr. Meria Joel Carstarphen earned a doctorate in administration, planning and social policy with a concentration in urban superintendency from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She earned a bachelor of arts in political science and Spanish from Tulane University and master of education degrees from Auburn University and Harvard University. She has also studied at the University of Seville, Spain, and University of Innsbruck, Austria. A public school graduate, Dr. Carstarphen hails from Selma, Ala., where she began her teaching career.

Carstarphen will start work officially on July 7, 2014, replacing Superintendent Erroll B. Davis Jr. who was appointed superintendent on July 1, 2011.

LowryTweetsContract Details:

  • 3 year contract
  • July 7, 2014 start date
  • Base Salary: $375,000
  • Retirement Contribution: 10% of the annual salary
  • Medical, vision, dental, disability and life insurance coverages
  • One-time relocation reimbursement
  • Automobile Allowance:  $1200 a month
  • Expense Allowance:  $800 a month
  • Annual performance evaluation to be conducted by the Board
  • Contract does not include any provisions for performance bonuses

3:20pm – Press conference now taking place (full video will be available on this blog later this afternoon).

Carstarphen:  We will have a very special moment to do some great work in this city.














3:30pm – Special legislative meeting is now adjourned.  Regularly scheduled April meeting will begin shortly.  We will continue to blog from committee of the whole and community meetings on this page.

APS hires Meria Carstarphen as superintendent (WXIA)

APS Board names Carstarphen superintendent (WSB Atlanta)

Austin Superintendent Carstarphen to lead schools in Atlanta (Austin American Statesman)

It’s official – APS has new superintendent  (

3:55pm – Work session has been called to order.

Chuck Burbridge, CFO, gives brief financial presentation.  No changes at this time to the financial outlook of the district.

Esteves:  What is the plan for presenting the budget to the budget committee?

English: We pulled the budget from this agenda because there were some questions and it has not made it out of committee yet.  Matt will work to schedule another commission meeting sooner rather than later.  Davis will work will Carstarphen on issues that may have a budget impact.

Presentation completed.

4:00pm – Committee of the Whole meeting called to order

March meeting minutes approved.

English:  We have removed the budget from the agenda altogether.  I am moving 2.03 to discussion and action.  The Jackson cluster recommendation is already in discussion and action.

With these revisions the agenda has been approved.

2.01 Report No. 13/14-1722 Authorization to Revise Policy JCDAF Use of Electronic Devices by Students (First Reading)

2.02 Report No. 13/14-1723 Authorization to Adopt Calendars for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 School Years

MOVED TO DISCUSSION AND ACTION 2.03 Report No. 13/14-1724 Recommendation to Approve a Zone Change for Inman Middle School

2.04 Report No. 13/14-5122 Authorization to Abolish One (1) Educational Telecommunication Specialist Position, Create One (1) Media Production Specialist Position and Execute a Transition Plan

2.05 Report No. 13/14-5123 Personnel Gains, Losses, Promotions, Appointments, Creations, Reclassifications and Abolishments

Esteves asks about the concentration of losses in particular school clusters.

Lee says that 20 of the 37 resignations come from District 7.

Davis agrees to look into concern with Human Resources.





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