As superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools, Meria Joel Carstarphen, Ed.D, brings an impressive record in transformative educational leadership leading to significant student performance gains. Dr. Carstarphen has nearly 20 years of education and experience in diverse metropolitan public school districts, including Austin, Texas; Saint Paul, Minn.; and the District of Columbia.
In Atlanta, Dr. Carstarphen’s first graduation class of 2015 reached a 71.5 percent graduation rate high. That reflects similar trends in Austin, where she was superintendent from 2009 to 2014. She credits the successes to a deliberate shift from over-reliance on high-stakes testing to an educational culture with educators who emphasize the whole child, every child; social and emotional learning; arts-rich environments; alternative pathways to graduation; and alternative education disciplinary program reform.
Dr. Carstarphen began her career as a teacher in her hometown of Selma, Ala. She earned a doctorate in administration, planning and social policy, with a concentration in urban superintendency from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.