Carstarphen: Go slower


Departing school chief Meria Carstarphen recommended that St. Paul schools focus on academic reform and delay action on proposed changes to a three-region busing and school choice plan for another year, reports the PiPress. The board was scheduled to vote on the plan this month, which would mean implementing it in 2010. Instead, Carstarphen recommends waiting until April to vote, and not implementing the plan until 2011. It’s not clear from the report whether Carstarphen is also recommending a delay in closing three schools.

I wrote in the TC Daily Planet last week about the proposed Large Scale System Change (LSSC) plan that Carstarphen now wants to delay. Part of the plan would divide the city into three regions, and students would attend elementary school in their region of the city or in one of seven “citywide enrollment” schools. Right now, SPPS pays to bus 89 percent of all its students, and the plan would save money on busing. The plan would also make changes in the magnet school system and to establish clear pathways from elementary to junior high to high school for all students.

The Board of Education has scheduled a listening session, with a wide-open agenda, at Expo Elementary school, from 7-8:30 p.m. and a vote on the LSSC at its June 16 meeting. Superintendent Meria Carstarphen will leave St. Paul on June 30 to become superintendent of schools in Austin, Texas.

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