Malfaro on Carstarphen: Heard 'Good Stuff'
Education Austin president positive about AISD superintendent finalist, calls to put selection process behind district
By Richard Whittaker,
4:04PM, Thu. Feb. 26, 2009
For all the calls this morning from the AISD Board of Trustees that it's all about the children, if Meria Carstarphen becomes superintendent, she will also be boss for the district's employees. Teachers' union Education Austin President Louis Malfaro is optimistic about her, and said, "We are looking forward to working with the new superintendent."
Education Austin is one of the stakeholder groups that will have sit-down meetings with Carstarphen over the next few days, but Malfaro said he thought it unlikely that she would not get the job. Noting that she has worked in a variety of multicultural and multilingual districts, he added, "She brings a lot of things to the district that are going to, on paper anyway, make her a very effective superintendent."
Malfaro confirmed that, ever since Carstarphen's name had been leaked by the Statesman last week, he'd been asking around about her, particularly with his counterparts at the St. Paul Federation of Teachers. "I hear a lot of good stuff," he said, "that she's collaborative, and that they've been to conferences together that the union sponsored in Washington to look at school improvement efforts."
Still, he did have some last parting shots for how the trustees made their final decision. He explained, "If you read the profile that the school board put together [it] clearly spoke to the need to have someone had a lot of classroom experience, worked as a principal, worked as a superintendent – they didn't follow the profile." However, he added, "It's time to put aside a discussion of the process."