Education

Atlanta Superintendent: Stable Neighborhoods Benefit Schools

Atlanta Superintendent Meria Carstarphen says building stable neighborhoods is critical to long-term student success.
Atlanta Superintendent Meria Carstarphen says building stable neighborhoods is critical to long-term student success.
Credit PBA30

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Stabilizing Atlanta neighborhoods will play a key role in turning some schools around, according to Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen.

Carstarphen spoke to reporters at a media roundtable. She touted the district’s school turnaround plan, which targets the district’s lowest-performing schools. The plan includes merging some schools, closing others and offering wrap-around services to families, like community health clinics on school campuses. 

Carstarphen said one of the district’s biggest barriers to success is high mobility — or families constantly moving in and out of attendance zones. 

“As much as we need to teach reading and graduate kids on time … housing, jobs, reduction in violence in neighborhoods, just having a healthier home and school and neighborhood environment has to be part of our strategy,” she said. 

Carstarphen said APS is working with community partners to revitalize neighborhoods so families will want to stay. She said kids need to have stable home lives in order to perform well in school. 

A note of disclosure: WABE’s broadcast license is held by the Atlanta Board of Education.