Atlanta school board will not renew superintendent's contract

ATLANTA — Atlanta Public Schools is looking for a new superintendent, as the school board decided not to renew Dr. Meria Carstarphen's contract after it expires next year

Despite the decision, some board members told Channel 2's Richard Elliot they still support her.

But in the end, the board decided to make a change and for some, that change is not popular.

“Does this worry me? Change … I think change worries me, the city, people, probably all of us,” Atlanta School Board Vice Chair Eshé Collins told Elliot.

Collins admitted to Elliot she still supports Carstarphen, but also supports what she calls “the will of the board.”

“I know this is a difficult time, but I want everyone to still be at the table and still be at the helm of getting this done, and successful transition planning and what that looks like. It’s going to be tough,” Collins said.


While board Chair Jason Esteves wouldn’t say what led to the board’s decision, he inferred that Carstarphen didn’t always work collaboratively with them.

“Five years ago, we needed Dr. Carstarphen and we appreciate the work she’s done over the last five years, but the question that the board is trying to tackle is whether that same leader is who we need for the next five years,” Esteves told Elliot.

In a statement, Carstarphen said, “I’ve always been committed to working diligently and collaboratively to achieve the district’s goals and our mission to prepare every student for college and career. I feel we are well on that path.”

At Grady High School, some students and parents told Elliot they were surprised to hear the news.

“From the work that I’ve heard, she’s been doing a pretty good job,” student Naomi Seals said.

“It’s unfortunate. I’m sad to hear it. Been very pleased with the work that she’s done,” parent Dawn Clement said.

The board hired Carstarphen in 2014 after the APS cheating scandal

In her statement, she said the district had come a long way since those dark days and she hopes it can continue the progress it’s made.