Nearly two dozen struggling New York City schools will get $2.5 million each in federal funds to help them improve.
But while the gifts are coming with conditions, the strings are looser than in the past.
The funds are coming through a program known as School Improvement Grants, which the Obama administration ramped up in 2009. Under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the city used the grant program to require “very dramatic change” at schools that had struggled for years. That change frequently included removing teachers, provoking conflict with the teachers union, particularly as the state made adopting teacher evaluations that weigh student test scores a condition for receiving the funds.
Now, the list of acceptable ways to address low-performing schools has grown, and several options that New York State designed don’t require any major changes at all. New York City chose those options in every case this year, in keeping with the de Blasio administration’s preference for giving schools new resources instead of penalizing them for their students’ poor performance.
That means at least 10 of the 18 upstate schools to get the funds will have to install new principals and, in some cases, new teachers, while the 21 city schools in the program will add partnerships and programs. Some of the schools will add career or college preparation programs, while others will add services for families in keeping with the “community schools” model that the de Blasio administration favors.
The city did not use another new option that the state has created, for schools to add online classes or change the way students spend their time.
Here are the 21 city schools that are each getting $2.5 million in grants, and what the funds will pay for:
- Academy of Public Relations: College/Career
- Bronx Guild: College/Career
- Bronx High School for Writing and Communication Arts: College/Career
- Bronx Regional High School: College/Career
- Brooklyn Environmental Exploration School (BEES): College/Career
- Brooklyn High School for Leadership and Community Service: College/Career
- East Fordham Academy for the Arts: Family and Community
- East New York Middle School of Excellence: Family and Community
- Felisa Rincon de Gautier Institute for Law and Public Policy: Family and Community
- Frederick Douglass Academy VI High School: College/Career
- KAPPA IV: College/Career
- M.S. 390: College/Career
- New Heights Middle School: Family and Community
- P.S. 151 Lyndon B. Johnson: College/Career
- P.S. 183 Dr. Richard R. Green: College/Career
- P.S./M.S. 029 Melrose School: College/Career
- P.S./M.S. 031 The William Lloyd Garrison: College/Career
- Queens Satellite High School for Opportunity: Family and Community
- The Fresh Creek School: Family and Community
- The Forward School: Family and Community
- The Urban Assembly Unison School: Family and Community