Thursday, May 15, 2008

The plan has hit the fan

Chancellor Rhee has released her plan to overhaul 26 DC public schools. From the summary:

BACKGROUND: The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) is built on four principles: accountability for results, more choices for parents, greater local control flexibility for schools,
and an emphasis on doing what works based on scientific research. NCLB requires that:
  • All states test students in reading and math in grades 3-8, and once during grades 10-12, using state-designed tests.
  • Teachers of core academic subjects be highly qualified by the end of the 2005-2006 school year.
  • Schools make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) goals so that it’s clear that students are learning.
AYP is the measurement used to determine whether a school is meeting the annual goals it has set for each of its student groups. When a school does not meet AYP for two consecutive years, it is designated as in need of improvement; all parents are informed of this, and a multi-year program is undertaken in order to improve the school. A school reaches restructuring status when there is no adequate improvement across a five-year period.

Required action: The U.S. Department of Education requires that schools in restructuring status have a fundamental change in governance under one of the following options:
  • Option 1: Reopen the school as a public charter
  • Option 2: Reconstitution--replace all or most school staff relevant to AYP failure
  • Option 3: Collaborate with an external partner
  • Option 4: State takeover
  • Option 5: Other major restructuring
The Local Education Agency (DCPS)—in these cases, with consideration of oral feedback at more than 30 meetings with parents, faculty, administrators and staff at restructuring schools, along with written comments from across the school communities and community at large informing the Chancellor’s expertise—makes the decision on the restructuring option that best suits each school.

Next steps: After those decisions are made, each school proactively will form a School Leadership Team, led by the principal and involving a range of stakeholders. Each team will
develop a comprehensive strategic plan that will include an implementation timeline, a professional development plan for all staff, and a plan for resource allocation. Note:
  • More than one restructuring option may be appropriate for some schools.
  • Elements of restructuring plans with 0direct impact on the responsibilities of the classroom
  • teacher are pending current contract negotiations.

Option 2: Reconstitution may involve replacing some or all staff, hiring new leadership, creating new curriculum, adding resources or combining all of these actions in order to focus on
and improve areas of AYP failure.
Option 2A: In an Administrative Reconstitution, only the school’s administrative staff members will be replaced or required to reapply for their positions.
Anacostia High School
Dunbar High School
Eastern High School
Garnet-Patterson-Shaw Middle School
Hart Middle School
Lincoln Middle School
MacFarland Middle School
Moten Elementary School
Sousa Middle School
Woodson High School
Option 2B: An Instructional Staff Reconstitution involves replacing staff relevant to AYP failure, and could include school leadership as well.
Eliot Middle School
Cardozo High School
Coolidge High School
Stanton Elementary School
Truesdell Elementary School
Webb-Wheatley Elementary School
Wilson High School (no more than 20% of instructional staff)

Option 3: Collaborate with an external partner. Partnership schools work with a partner organization with expertise and experience in turning around low-performing schools in order to increase AYP success as effectively and as quickly as possible.
Anacostia High School
Ballou High School
Coolidge High School
Dunbar High School
Hart Middle School
Option 5: Other Major Restructuring. These schools will be restructured in a variety of ways in order to address specific causes for AYP failure. Certain key interventions will be used at several schools as cornerstones of their overall restructuring plans. Browne, Roosevelt, and Spingarn will undertake robust restructuring plans tailored to the particular needs of each school community.
Ron Brown Middle School
Browne Junior High School
Johnson Middle School
Kramer Middle School
Miner Elementary School
Roosevelt High School
Spingarn High School
The following key interventions will be implemented at the schools designated:

CLUSTER INITIATIVES consist of two clusters (one with ten schools, one with four) whose principals operate together with dedicated leadership from the Chancellor’s office, and with significant autonomy in decisions regarding curriculum, instructional practices, professional development, and school operations. Carefully built to include highly-effective principals at schools of varying performance levels, these groups of leaders will provide intense support to each other, supplementing the support from the district, and are aligned in expectations for student achievement; general academic programming; instructional practices; assessment systems, and behavioral expectations and procedures.

Cluster Initiative Schools: MacFarland, Miner, Webb-Wheatley

FULL SERVICE SCHOOLS include positive behavior supports and interventions, enhanced staffing to support the behavior management and mental health needs of students, as well as facilitated outreach to families. It will be implemented in the most inclusive and integrated settings for all students, with the goal of delivering services to students with and without disabilities.
Full Service Schools: Ron Brown, Eliot, Garnet-Patterson-Shaw, Johnson, Kramer, Sousa

*SCHOOL-WIDE APPLICATION MODEL SCHOOLS (SAMS) will redistribute special education resources into the general education classroom so that all students are able to experience the benefit of specialized instruction and services. Students with disabilities benefit by receiving the supports they need to excel in their least restrictive environment, and all teachers are coached to individualize instruction through flexible groups and peer pairing. This model provides enhanced staffing through a Response to Intervention coach, intensive professional development in the summer, and technical assistance on integrated service delivery throughout the school year.
SAMS Schools: Moten, Stanton


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