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New superintendent working to change APS culture

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ATLANTA - The new Atlanta Public School Superintendent, Dr. Carstarphen, and her transition team have been working for several weeks now. Carstarphen said she's using this time to actually learn the district and she's even made some new hires.

The incoming superintendent addressed the Atlanta Press Club Tuesday and talked about changing the culture of APS.

The former middle school teacher has been spending her time meeting students, staff, parents and learning about the city of Atlanta.

“It's just a lot of things that have to happen before the culture fully shifts,” said Carstarphen.

Carstarphen said that the APS cheating scandal has made recruiting difficult.

“There's a reputation about the district right now that is what it is, but it's also not the whole story,” said Carstarphen. “It's a little more difficult of a sale, but those who have come and spent the weekend with me are very excited.”

Some have raised questions about who is paying the bill for Carstarphen and her staff during this transition period before her contract begins in July. Courtney English, APS Board Chair, said that he is the point person who is working to raise private funds to foot that bill.
“The transition efforts will be funded externally. We have every intention of releasing those names. We haven't started the fundraising yet,” said English.

Recently Atlanta police have been reviewing video of two special needs students who appear to be the victims of physical abuse at the hands of their own teachers. A Bunch Middle School special needs student, Melvin Bussey, also passed away after a P.E. class at the school.

Dr. Carstarphen said she is not familiar with the details in those cases, but said that she will not tolerate the abuse or ill treatment of students.

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