School president says APS superintendent finalist chosen too quickly

by: Craig Lucie Updated:

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ATLANTA - The Georgia Federation of Teachers president says she has major concerns about the way the Atlanta Public Schools superintendent search is being conducted.
 

Channel 2’s Craig Lucie sat down with the president of the state’s largest teacher’s union in Atlanta and she told him that the process is moving too quickly. Verdaillia Turner is convinced there is an agenda behind their final candidate.
 
“We were insulted and the next word that came to mind: fixed,” Turner said.
 
Turner is also the president of the Atlanta Federation of Teachers and she did not hold back when explaining how The APS Superintendent Search Committee selected Dr. Meria Carstarphen as the sole finalist for superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools.
 
 “There were 400-something people that applied and you give us one finalist? You are insulting my intelligence and the intelligence of the citizens of this city,” Turner said.
 
The committee selected Carstarphen from a narrowed down list of four candidates. Carstarphen has been the superintendent in Austin, Texas, since 2009.

The board there did not grant Carstarphen a contract extension. In 2011 and 2012, she was given one-year extensions, meaning she's secure until June 2015.
 
“We are looking into her background right now. Everything is happening real fast,” Turner said.
 
During Carstaphen’s visit to several Atlanta public schools last week, she talked about rebuilding trust and changing the culture of the district by "being thoughtful about how the community will do the checks and balances on whether or not we are developing trust."
 
She is also seeking feedback from teachers and parents.

“They'll have to share that with me and I know that will be a tough process, but it will be part of the healing,” said Carstarphen.
 
Turner said she has several concerns with this potential hire.
 
“We think many people will lose their jobs under new evaluations that are constantly enacted,” Turner said.
 
The U.S. Secretary of Education praised the Atlanta board’s selection of Carstarphen.



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