More Schools Get NCLB Restructuring

Thanks to reader DG for sending me this clip from the Tribune about the the new CPS restructuring plan.

City says 185 schools need reforms or new leaders

By David Mendell
Tribune staff reporter
Published May 20, 2006

The
Chicago Public Schools system will hire dozens of new principals,
overhaul curricula in eight schools and provide business-school
training for the staffs of 10 other schools to comply with the No Child
Left Behind Law, officials said Friday.

Those changes--and other
structural adjustments--will occur this fall in 185 city schools that
face drastic sanctions under the federal law. The Chicago Board of
Education is expected to approve the so-called restructuring plan
Wednesday, and state education officials must approve it later in the
year.

Schools that have failed to meet standards for six
straight years are placed under "restructuring," a designation that
could lead to closure, state takeover or staff shakeups.

About 40 new principals could be in place by this
fall. Twenty-one principals are retiring, officials said. About another
20 were put in a "corrective action plan" and could be removed or given
other roles, officials said.

Officials would not say which principals might be removed.

"What
we really tried to do is look comprehensively at each of these 185
schools and make sure that plans were developed in response to the
specific needs of the school," said Barbara Eason-Watkins, the
district's chief education officer and architect of the plan.

Some
schools will see few major changes, perhaps the addition of a literacy
specialist. Others, such as Collins High School on the West Side, are
facing the ultimate fate under No Child Left Behind. Officials
announced in January that Collins will be phased out and opened in fall
2008 under new, independent leadership.

Eight of the schools
will become, or already have become, "Fresh Start" schools,
Eason-Watkins said. That program is a partnership with the Chicago
Teachers Union that gives teachers a bigger say in designing reforms.

Two
schools will have "turnaround" principals, in which a new leader is
given broad power to make reforms. Officials declined to identify those
schools.

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