ERIC Number: EJ880058
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar-17
Reference Count: N/A
School Transformation Efforts Accelerate
Aarons, Dakarai I.
Education Week, v29 n25 p1, 12 Mar 2010
Spurred both by fiscal realities and momentum from the U.S. Department of Education's agenda for school improvement, local and state education leaders are moving forcefully and quickly to make big changes to districts and schools that have long struggled with low test scores and graduation rates. In Kansas City, Missouri, the school board voted last week to "right-size" the district by closing 26 of the system's 61 schools. In addition, the 17,000-student district plans to close its central office and two other buildings. In Cleveland, the school board last week passed Chief Executive Officer Eugene T.W. Sanders' "transformation" plan, which would close 16 schools in the 50,000-student district of more than 100 schools, reorganize the central office, and shift high schools from a traditional, comprehensive model to one of smaller academies. And in Detroit, a coalition of local foundations and community organizations--with the support of Mayor Dave Bing--last week unveiled a $200 million plan that aims to transform not only the city's beleaguered public school system, but also its private and charter schools, creating a citywide standards commission that will publish annual report cards for all those schools. Daniel A. Domenech, the executive director of the Arlington, Virginia-based American Association of School Administrators, said the nation can expect to see more such aggressive moves as cash-strapped school districts leverage financial conditions to help make changes. Districts are also being prodded by the availability of competitive education grants through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the federal economic-stimulus law that has placed an emphasis on the goals those cities are pursuing, including stronger teacher evaluations and turnarounds of low-performing schools. States have also gotten in on the action. Massachusetts announced last week that it may use a new state law designed to address persistently failing schools to take over 35 low-performing schools, primarily in Boston and Springfield, if they do not improve.
Descriptors: Report Cards, Charter Schools, Graduation Rate, State Legislation, Educational Finance, Educational Change, Boards of Education, Community Organizations, School Districts, School Effectiveness, Public Schools, Elementary Secondary Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts; Michigan; Ohio; United Kingdom (England)