View Full Version : All NYC NYC Eyes New Tactic for Failing Schools: The Turnaround

03-08-2011, 09:32 AM
This from the N.Y. Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/09/nyregion/09greendot.html) by Fernanda Santos:
The Bloomberg administration’s strategy for low-performing schools has been to shut them down, a drastic move that often incites anger and protests from teachers, parents and neighborhood officials. Since the beginning of the mayor’s first term, more than 110 schools have been shuttered or are in the process of closing.

The administration is now thinking of testing another approach at two schools in the Bronx: replacing the principals and at least half of the teachers, but keeping the schools and all of their programs running — a strategy known as a turnaround.

The plan would bring together unlikely partners: the New York City Department of Education, the teachers’ union and the founder of a charter school network who is best known for turning around one of the toughest high schools in Los Angeles.

There are benefits and risks for each side. The city would be departing from its philosophy of replacing large schools with smaller ones. But it could cause less political blowback.

Union leaders might be seen by their rank and file as acquiescing to the replacement of teachers, though those teachers would be entitled to their full salaries and jobs elsewhere in the system. But if those schools were closed, they could be replaced with charter schools, which tend not to be unionized.

For the charter network, Green Dot America (http://greendotamerica.org/), the plan is an attempt to turn its model into a national commodity of sorts. But Green Dot would also be inheriting some of the city’s most challenging students.

“This notion that some kids can make it and some kids can’t, I don’t buy that,” Steve Barr, who founded the network, said in an interview. “I’m of the belief that all kids can be college-ready if you give them a chance.”

The plan involves a middle school and a high school in the South Bronx; the schools were not named because their staffs had not been notified. The schools would be controlled by the Education Department, managed by Green Dot America and staffed by unionized teachers, as is the norm in the 17 charter schools that Green Dot runs, including a high school in the South Bronx (http://www.greendot.org/newyork/) that opened in 2008.

read more>> (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/09/nyregion/09greendot.html)