in Houston, Texas
Austin ISD's secrecy troubling for public
Monday, Nov 14, 2011, 04:30PM CST
By Steve Miller

Austin schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen's bent for secrecy was highlighted in an op-ed posted Saturday by the Austin American-Statesman, which noted some constituents have expressed "a lack of trust in her closed leadership style."

The district has battled open records requests in recent years, even before Carstarphen's tenure, fighting to withhold the criminal records of teachers as well as the results of a survey evaluating Carstarphen and an obviously public plan for school consolidation.

It’s not the first time the Austin Independent School District has been chastised by the public for its lack of transparency. The Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas berated the ailing district in September, and the Austin paper has previously run an editorial addressing the problem.

Carstarphen came to Austin in July 2009 after three years as superintendent in St. Paul. Minn.

Oddly, she defended the controversial No Child Left Behind mandate in 2008 with this: "Without it, we would have no leverage to bring to light the problems associated with the achievement gap, and that's at the heart of what the spirit of the law is about: Transparency. Are we doing the job or not?"
Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or

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