Atlanta Schools superintendent delivers district progress report - CBS46 News

Atlanta Schools superintendent delivers district progress report

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)
ATLANTA (AP) -

Atlanta Public Schools superintendent Meria Carstarphen gave her "state of thee district" address on Friday.

She delivered the district's progress report through hip-hop music based on the hit Broadway musical "Hamilton."

Hamilton shows the struggle that transformed our nation much like the transformational journey the ATL school district has been going through.

"And do it sooner rather than later, of course first and foremost serve our kids but to also ensure we maintain our local control and take responsibility for our school system without state intervention,” said Carstarphen.

A public school state takeover many parents and faculty are fighting hard to avoid.

"I was on the job several months before I even knew the state was considering that. So we had already started and I was recruited to do turnaround of Atlanta public schools to get the district back on track."

Superintendent Carstarphen was hired on the heels of standardized test cheating scandal.

Atlanta also had 26 public schools named as chronically failing and targeted for a government takeover.

Since Carstarphen has been on the job, 46 schools have scored higher on the college and career ready performance index, the standard used to determine which schools are low-performing under the Governor Nathan Deal’s proposed constitutional amendment.

System could be impacted by Amendment 1

Although focusing on literacy has helped the district to move 231 students from being classified as “beginning” in English to “developing".  The bad news is 40 percent of APS students remain beginning learners.

Governor Deal says the district has had plenty of time to fix broken schools.

His proposal to allow the government to take over struggling schools could get rid of current faculty and staff.  The schools could also be changed to a charter or closed down.

"The message that we received from the state is that if you have plans in place, if you can show that you're making progress, if you're actually implementing those plans that school districts could possibly be shielded from state takeover," said Carstarphen. 

Today Carstarphen said ATL public schools are making substantial progress but much remains to be done. 

She told CBS46 she needs more time to turn around failing schools to avoid a government takeover.                                    

Voters will be able to decide in the November 8 election what direction the district will go.

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