Signing of the Elementary and Secondary Education Bill. [LBJ Library photo by Frank Wolfe #C148-30-WH65]

A Birthday Wish for LBJ

Aug 29, 2013

Here’s to Winning the Tomorrows in Front of Us — for All Students

by Dr. Meria Carstarphen, Superintendent of the Austin Independent School District
[posted on austinisd.org on August 28, 2013]

Before I go to bed tonight, I am mindful that today is Lyndon Baines Johnson’s birthday. LBJ inspires me because he was an education-focused, civil rights champion. Over Memorial Day weekend, I took my parents out to LBJ State Park and toured his hometown and the park to learn more about his legacy. My parents still live in Selma, Alabama, where I grew up–a city that is still immersed in civil rights struggles. I remember that every day as I take responsibility for addressing inequalities in education here in Austin.

LBJ’s legacy looms large in Austin—and AISD. As educators, we are fortunate to serve Austin, which is a city of ideas—a city of innovators.  Austin has world-class universities, innovative businesses and engaged civic leaders, including an army of the “doers and builders” LBJ said would “take up the front line” to ensure progress. I have seen it personally every day over the past four years from our teachers and staff members who have worked tirelessly to address long-standing issues that have plagued our school system for decades. The issues are tied to a beleaguered history of race-based struggles for longer than I have been alive. read more