Superintendent Carstarphen shares parting thoughts

As superintendent Meria Carstarphen wraps up her time with Austin Independent School District, she shared some last thoughts in a press conference on Thursday.

“It was a very hard decision. When you love something it’s hard to let go,” Carstarphen said. “I know that while there are a lot of challenges it’s important that a community is able to continue to grow. I definitely don’t think I’m the only person who can lead and help make AISD successful, so I do know that the district is in a really good place.”

Carstarphen will be leaving AISD to become the new head of Atlanta Public Schools after this school year.

“I’d hope that our community would realize that Atlanta is in critical need of a strong leader,” Carstarphen said. “Having the skills that I have would help our sister city and put them on a pathway for success so they too can be on the turnaround and provide for its school community.”

Under Carstarphen’s leadership, AISD hit a record graduation rate and strayed away from testing being the focus of education.

“I think we’ve shifted our culture significantly to do less conversation about testing and test prep and instead focus on development of the whole child,” Carstarphen said. “Another accomplishment is that we are really graduating more students than ever before. It’s something I’m really proud of. We want to make sure every student has a fair chance in not only having a successful school experience but can also graduate on time and have the skills to go to college.”

Carstarphen worked with AISD since 2009, she will now replace former superintendent of APS, Erroll B. Davis Jr., who served as superintendent since 2011.