In the News


Ep 38: Meria Carstarphen on The Effects of Schooling Children in a Pandemic and Possibly the Silver Lining

What are the effects that this pandemic is having on our children who are learning virtually? Is this increasing the disparity of quality education among socio-economic levels? What are some of the choices that need to be made? And could there be a silver lining to all of this?

Today I am joined by Dr. Meria Carstarphen to discuss her perspective on the schooling of our children during this pandemic. She was most recently the superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools where she was charged with leading the transformation of the district following the largest cheating scandal in the history of public education. Dr. Carstarphen hails from Selma, Alabama, where she was born and raised in a family of four girls. Prior to serving in Atlanta, she was superintendent in other major metropolitan public school districts, including Austin, Texas, and Saint Paul, Minnesota. 

Not only is Meria an expert in urban education, she is also a “champion for change” and passionate about improving income disparity and creating a better future for those who are living in poverty. This is such a powerful interview that brings a great perspective on how this pandemic may be the crux of how choices can be made that will bring about positive change for our country. Listen in to hear about closing the gap in education, social injustice, and economic disparity.

Notable Quotes:

  • “It’s a hard time for everyone. I don’t think any decision is an easy decision.”
  • “We have an opportunity to challenge the way the [public education] system has failed black and brown and poor kids for decades now.”
  • “The silver lining is the opportunity. The opportunity to challenge the old system and build something better for the future.”

In this episode, you will hear:

  • Meria’s choice to take the challenging positions like the APS superintendent position
  • The difficulties that students and schools are facing during virtual learning and the pandemic
  • Her perspective on the choices that can be made to close the gap in education, social injustice, and economic disparity

Connect with Meria and other resources mentioned in this episode:

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