New APS superintendent on first day of school - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

New APS superintendent on first day of school

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ATLANTA - Students returned to classrooms Monday morning at Atlanta Public Schools and other districts across metro Atlanta for the first day of the 2014-2015 school year.

Buses rolled Monday morning in Atlanta, Decatur, and Griffin-Spalding County as well as Bartow, Cherokee, Cobb, Henry, Lamar and Paulding counties.

Atlanta’s new superintendent greeted student at Bethune Elementary in northwest Atlanta. Dr. Meria Carstarphen has committed to changing the culture in the classroom and school officials.

Dr. Carstarphen told Fox 5’s Kaitlyn Pratt through community meetings, she has an understanding of what parents want for their students and what teachers need.

Dr. Carstaphen said, “Can the district just run the district well?  Do paychecks on time. Make sure the buses are working. Ensure teachers are hired. Have a permanent principal, please?”

The district has nearly two dozen new principals on the payroll. And concerns about past unethical behavior following a test cheating scandal that gained national attention aren’t being ignored but addressed, says Carstarphen.

The CRCT exams at the center of the scandal will no longer be administered.

The superintendent said, “We want to get away from the culture, the standard of testing for testing sake.”

She wants student success centered on a very simple formula: go to school, go to class, do your homework.

The superintendent said there will be assessments during the first 90 days with this fall about rebuilding motivation and morale. District leaders will touch base regularly to reinforce their focus:

Dr. Carstarphen said, “Our job - - the board, the superintendent, and all those other support pieces - we are the foundation - where that schools and teachers and students and families can stand on our shoulders so we can push up for support.”
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