Carstarphen high­lights

Austin American-Statesman - - WORLD & NATION -

Feb 26. 2009 — Carstarphen (pro­nounced car-STAR-fin) is named sole fi­nal­ist to be Austin school district su­per­in­ten­dent.

June — Carstarphen pro­poses, and the board ap­proves, re­or­ga­ni­za­tion of top-level po­si­tions in the district’s cen­tral ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fice.

July — Carstarphen takes the helm as su­per­in­ten­dent, be­com­ing the first fe­male and African Amer­i­can su­per­in­ten­dent in the district’s his­tory. Pearce Mid­dle School is or­dered closed by the state for chronic low per­for­mance. Cas­tarphen ad­dresses a $15 mil­lion pro­jected short­fall for 2009-10.

Au­gust — State of­fi­cials an­nounce that for the first time, the district has missed fed­eral aca­demic stan­dards es­tab­lished by the No Child Left Be­hind Act. The school board adopts Carstarphen’s 2009-10 bud­get. She hosts an allem­ployee con­vo­ca­tion. Carstarphen pro­poses, and the board ap­proves, re­duc­ing the num­ber of reg­u­lar board meet­ings, which lim­its op­por­tu­ni­ties for pub­lic com­ment. Swine flu, which first sig­nif­i­cantly af­fected school en­roll­ment in May, con­tin­ues to plague cam­puses spo­rad­i­cally.

Novem­ber — Carstarphen an­nounces a joint ef­fort to repli­cate the Har­lem Chil­dren’s Zone, a pro­gram that seeks to im­prove aca­demic suc­cess in low-in­come com­mu­ni­ties by boost­ing so­cial ser­vices, among other things.

De­cem­ber — The school board ap­proves Carstarphen’s strate­gic plan, which will guide the district’s goals for the next five years. Carstarphen pro­poses, and the board ap­proves, a dual-lan­guage pi­lot pro­gram, chang­ing the way bilin­gual ed­u­ca­tion will be taught in the district.

Jan­uary 2010 — Carstarphen an­nounces that more than 100 po­si­tions will be cut to close a pro­jected short­fall in the 2010-11 bud­get.

Fe­bru­ary — Carstarphen asks trustees to declare fi­nan­cial ex­i­gency, or emer­gency, which would give the district more power to cut jobs un­der con­tract. The school board de­clines, in­stead ap­prov­ing an ef­fort to cut jobs by elim­i­nat­ing or re­or­ga­niz­ing pro­grams. Carstarphen presents a pre­lim­i­nary 2010-11 bud­get months ear­lier than bud­gets are usu­ally pre­sented.

March — Carstarphen hosts a se­ries of pub­lic com­mu­nity meet­ings on the bud­get.

April — Teach­ers say they are un­der­paid and rally for raises. Carstarphen tells the board that teach­ers aren’t com­pen­sated enough. Carstarphen an­nounces plans to start early col­lege pro­grams at Rea­gan and LBJ high schools and an early col­lege prep academy at Pearce Mid­dle School.

May — Carstarphen de­cides to keep in­com­ing Pearce sixth-graders at their ele­men­tary cam­puses to give the district time to pre­pare the academy. She holds a se­ries of com­mu­nity fo­rums on is­sue. Carstarphen be­gins her ‘44 in 4’ cam­paign, to visit 44 schools in four weeks.

June — Pre­lim­i­nary re­sults of the Texas As­sess­ment of Knowl­edge and Skills show that the district im­proved dra­mat­i­cally and all but one school will be rated ac­cept­able or higher. How­ever, re­sults in­di­cate the district again might fail to meet fed­eral stan­dards when those re­sults are re­leased in Au­gust.

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