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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Hope beyond illusion needed in educational systems

Dr. Carstarphen, Ed.D. (ctr), in middle of continuing education controversy in America.
(Photo by Tomi Johnson)
Hope can lead to educational success, according to Atlanta Public Schools (APS) Superintendent Meria Joel Carstarphen in an address given yesterday at the 21st Annual Prayer Breakfast sponsored by the Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary, Our Lady of Lourdes Court 300.
Carstarphen with Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary
(Photo courtesy of Joy Jordan)
What is needed in APS since cheating on state-administered standardized tests was uncovered in 2009 under Former Superintendent Beverly Hall, Carstarphen said, is trust, collaboration, child-centered agendas, and instilling in children the belief their God-given gifts will be developed. 

"Victims should not be treated as criminals," Carstarphen told participants gathered in the Loudermilk Center. She said parents and community organizers should support school district leaders.  "We need prayers...and voices," she said.
Photo by Tomi Johnson
Born and raised in Selma, Alabama, Dr. Carstarphen leads 50,000 students and 6,300 employees at 98 learning sites. She oversees a $1 billion budget and receives about $400k in salary and expenses annually. She is a Tulane, Auburn, and Harvard graduate, but her remarks on moving the "agenda" for kids failed to reflect the problems public education faces nationwide.

Instead of talking about her credentials, family, and her own professional success, maybe she could have addressed solutions to systemic problems in education: unqualified teachers who struggle with new technology, antiquated learning systems, the need for whole child learning management, and public education's inability to compete financially with private schools.

Scholarship recipients (left to right) are Syndney Honore, Alana Bufford, Gabrielle Johnson, and Anthony Jones. (Photo courtesy of Joy Jordan)
One blessing: Carstarphen donated her honorarium back to the Catholic organization sponsoring the scholarship event which in turn gave it away to deserving scholarship recipients. Unfortunately, that will only pay for two or three college textbooks, but that's a start!

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