New York

City plans for a management change at nine struggling schools

Unable to convince the teachers union to let school officials fire principals and teachers at a group of low-performing schools, the city is resorting to a another option: changing the schools' management. The so-called "restart" option is one of four programs districts can take on in order to win federal grants aimed at improving the country's lowest-performing schools. City officials announced today that nine public schools will undergo the restart model next year. The plan putting a school under new management — for example, under the guidance of an education management organization like New Visions. A major, and so-far unanswered, question is how this plan will differ from the relationships schools already have with support networks, whose job it is to offer academic and operational guidance. Another question is what organizations would apply to partner with these schools on such short notice. Three other schools that are eligible for the federal improvement grants will not receive them next year. Plans to overhaul the High School of Graphic Communication Arts, Harlem Renaissance High School, and W.H. Maxwell Career and Technical High School, all of which could begin any of the improvement models next year, will be put on hold for another year while the city decides whether to close them or improve them as they are. Department of Education officials said they intend to announce their plans for 31 other schools that are eligible for the grants tomorrow. Some of those schools will undergo the restart strategy, but the officials did not say how many.
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