Tuesday, March 29, 2011

This Year's RI "Peristently Low-Achieving"

Finally, two and a half months later than they were announced last year:

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The state Department of Education announced five schools Tuesday that will be targeted for intensive intervention under federal rules because they are among the "persistently lowest-achieving" schools in the state.

Four are Providence public schools: Alvarez High School, Hope Information Technology School, Mount Pleasant High School and Mary E. Fogarty Elementary School.

The fifth school is located in Providence but is a state-run school serving 75 students from several communities, the Rhode Island School for the Deaf.

One big mystery here is how much these decisions are made in consultation with the PPSD. It seems pretty unlikely that they're just done mathematically -- the system seems to allow choice within a larger pool of "low achieving" schools. Of particular note is the fact that there is no overlap with the planned closures and reorganizations done for financial reasons.

Alvarez and Fogarty are both within a mile of my house. I have to wonder how many other neighborhoods in the country will have what... seven? low-performing schools named in the first two years. Certainly this has to be the highest as a proportion of the whole state.

If ever a school needed a turnaround, it is Alvarez. That school should have never been created in the first place (that building was specifically designed for Feinstein). The kick in the eye is just that a number of teachers and students from Feinstein ended up there, so they get turned upside down twice in a row.

Mount Pleasant needs some kind of love, as it has been severely neglected the past decade. Hope IT is a weird choice, especially since I was thinking they were just going to completely re-merge Hope into one school again. The internal politics of turning around half of Hope will be very strange.

And, of course, the big, big, big question is... are the teachers in all these schools going to be terminated at the end of the year?

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