For Immediate Release
September 8, 2019
Atlanta Federation of Teachers’ Open Letter to the Atlanta Board of Education
Maria Carstarphen has pursued a school privatization agenda from the beginning of her tenure as school superintendent. She has contracted out the majority of the Carver Cluster and has begun contracting out the Douglass cluster to corporate entities and charter school privateers. Thus we do not believe that Carstarphen’s contract should be renewed and applaud Atlanta Board of Education members who refuse to be pressured to extend or renew her contract. Additionally, we were distressed when we read that Congressman John Lewis signed a letter along with big business leaders and others to support Carstarphen. While we respect Congressman Lewis and agree with his positions most times, this is one time we disagree with him. The professional educators of the Atlanta Federation of Teachers would have been glad to brief him on what works in public education.
The Atlanta Federation of Teachers believes that strong neighborhood schools are essential to improve student performance. I have said recently that APS should stop giving away our schools to private nonprofits who have little oversight and for-profit charter school management companies who put profits over children. At the same time Carstarphen has sold off our schools the results have been mediocre. She has touted mixed results on the Georgia Milestones test, an instrument many school systems are moving away from. Additionally, she has not been able to address the reality that poverty is the greatest indicator of student performance. To view the analysis comparing poverty levels to test scores in the metro Atlanta area compiled by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, click here.
We believe there are proven, evidence and community-based solutions to performance issues the Atlanta Public Schools face. Those solutions must be implemented by another superintendent. Meria Carstarphen must go!