Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Janey to have a "State of the School" address

In an apparent response to having the education spotlight removed from him and focused on Mayor-elect Fenty Superintendent Janey plans to make a "State of the School" address today.
The superintendent will outline his plans to intervene in some of the schools that failed to meet academic targets for four or more years. He will discuss accomplishments, too, including the introduction of new math, reading, science and social studies standards and renovations of numerous school libraries.

"He's been around two years. He's going to the public to say, 'Here's what we've done, and here's what's in store,' " said Michelle J. Walker, the school system's chief of strategic planning and policy, who has been involved in shaping Janey's reform ideas. But, she said, "he's going to talk about some of the obstacles that are in the way of getting the work done."

With much fanfare this year, Janey introduced an ambitious education plan that called for increasing the number of credit hours needed for high school graduation; turning failing high schools into career academies for specialties such as communications and health care; and converting junior highs into middle schools by shifting sixth-graders from elementary schools and moving ninth-graders to high schools.

Yet implementing new graduation requirements was delayed one year until 2007. Several education advocates and parents complain that Janey has not indicated which of the other plans are on schedule. They say they are looking for a strong statement that progress is being made.

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