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AISD to Focus on Increasing Minority Graduation Rates

Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

AISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen opened an all-staff convocation today by highlighting achievements in the district. But she also made clear there’s room for improvement.

Carstarphen told teachers they will have to handle non-violent disciplinary cases with in-school suspensions. It’s part of a policy the district is pursuing to increase graduation rates among minorities, who are disproportionately placed in the districts disciplinary schools.

“Nearly a third of African American and Hispanic males did not graduate on time. Hispanic females have dropout rates that are five times higher than Caucasian females in the district,” Carstarphen says.

Carstarphen’s go-to phrase during the convocation was “teamwork will make the dream work.”

The convocation was held this morning at Crockett High School. It was also streamed online for the district’s 12,000 or so employees.

The convocation kicked off this morning with a rousing parody of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.”

The convocation is like a pep rally for staff and was complete with cheerleaders and a band – until the band members had to go back to practice.

The video of the convocation was not available online at the time of this posting but an AISD spokesperson said it will be posted to the district's website: or AISD's YouTube channel.

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion-dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on X @KUTnathan.
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