November 4, 2010
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CHANCELLOR KLEIN ANNOUNCES 11 SCHOOLS TO RECEIVE $19.8 MILLION FROM STATE TO IMPLEMENT SCHOOL TRANSFORMATION PLANS
Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein today announced the New York City Department of Education has secured $19.8 million in funds from New York State to implement school turnaround plans in 11 schools, including groundbreaking reforms in the areas of teacher development, evaluation, and compensation. These 11 schools, identified by the State as Persistently Lowest Achieving (PLA), are receiving the funds through the Obama Administration’s School Improvement Grants Fund, which requires states and local school districts to identify the bottom 5% of schools and implement one of four mandated school turnaround models. The schools are eligible for additional funding over the next two years as they implement their improvement plans.
“The Obama Administration has laid out an ambitious plan to turnaround the nation’s low-performing schools, just like we’ve been doing here in New York City,” Chancellor Klein said. “Thanks to these federal dollars, we’re bringing great mentor teachers to struggling schools, putting in place innovative curriculum reforms and extended learning time, and strengthening supports for English language learners and students with disabilities.”
Federal guidelines identify four models for school improvement—a “transformation” model, a “turnaround” model, a “restart” model, and a “closure” model—each involving different strategies to improve low performing schools. New York City is implementing one of the four federal models, “transformation,” in these 11 schools. The City’s transformation model consists of a breakthrough strategy to reward teachers for highly effective performance using a rigorous and transparent evaluation system, allowing Principals in participating schools to retain, attract, and select the City’s most effective teachers. Principals have hired “Turnaround” teachers, who will receive a 15% bonus to work full-time in a transformation school and serve as a highly effective model teacher, and “Master” teachers, who will receive a 30% bonus to serve as both a teacher and mentor to other teachers in a transformation or a turnaround school. The schools are also implementing additional reform strategies, including leadership changes, the use of data to identify and implement effective instruction for students, an intensive approach to address the social and emotional needs of all students, and partnerships with community groups to best maximize and extend instructional time for students.
The 11 schools receiving the transformation model, and the amounts allocated by the State for the first year of implementation, are below:
These 11 schools are eligible for additional grant funding over the next two years, pending successful progress on the implementation of their transformation plans. The State has made clear to local school districts that future funding is contingent on efforts to ensure school improvement plans continue past the duration of the federal funds. To that end, New York City is utilizing some of the funding to build a strong and effective school turnaround program that will benefit both these 11 schools and schools undergoing turnaround efforts in the future. This program includes academic supports for English language learners and students with disabilities, Teacher Effectiveness Coaches who will facilitate the implementation of the teacher evaluation and reward system, and outside partnerships to strengthen Advanced Placement course offerings and implement online credit recovery programs.
There are 23 additional schools that the State has already identified as Persistently Lowest Achieving, and the City is now making decisions on which of the remaining federal models is the best fit for each school. Once those decisions are made and approved by the State, these 23 schools will be eligible for millions in federal funds to implement turnaround plans. The State will also be releasing an updated list of Persistently Lowest Achieving schools in the coming weeks, which will provide the opportunity for even more schools to receive federal school improvement grant funding.
Contact: Natalie Ravitz / Jack Zarin-Rosenfeld (212) 374-5141