Days after Atlanta school superintendent Meria Carstarphen unveiled her plans to improve low-performing schools by closing some and putting others under the management of charter school groups, school employees, parents and others sharply criticized those plans during a standing room-only school board meeting on Monday.
“Why do we want to take neighborhood control away from the neighborhoods?” JaTawn Robinson asked the board. “I beg of you to turn around and revamp your strategy.”
If the Opportunity School District is approved, the state would be able to take over a limited number of Georgia’s lowest performing schools and close them, run them or convert them to charter schools.
Carstarphen said Monday that the charter school organizations that would manage schools—Purpose Built Schools and Kindezi, which currently operates two Atlanta charter schools—have a record of success. Those groups would be able to make changes that the school district couldn’t on its own, she said.
“They’re choosing to label it privatization or charter schools,” she said of critics. “It’s not.”
The board votes on Carstarphen’s recommendations March 7.