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New York Set to Administer Harsh Punishments to 144 Struggling Schools

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Author: dianeravitch

Typically, schools with low test scores enrolled large numbers of students who are impoverished, are English language learners, and have significant handicaps. Such schools need extra staff and resources. But the vogue today is to threaten them with punishments, to fire the staff, and to hand them over to charter operators.

New York’s new state Commissioner MaryEllen Elia announced that, pursuant to the legislation that Governor Andrew Cuomo tucked into the state’s budget, she will take action against 144 struggling schools.

Cuomo’s “program creates carrots and sticks and sets out the possibility that the poorest performers could in a year’s time end up under outside receivership, that is, they could be taken over by an independent entity, such as a college or even a charter school operator.

There are 144 struggline schools statewide including 20 that are ”persistently struggling.”

For the persistently struggling schools, which includes Albany’s Hackett middle school, Burgard High in Buffalo and a slew in New York City as well as Rochester, an inside receiver, which is mostly likely the superintendent, will take charge this year. That person then has a year to show improvement or accept the outside receiver. The struggling schools have a year to improve or else they then go under the superintendent’s control, with outside takeover the year after that if there is no improvement.

The stick includes some potentially harsh measures, although it’s unclear how they will play out. In persistently struggling schools, for example, a superintendent acting as the local or in district receiver could conceivably fire teachers and administrators regardless of tenure. The superintendent also can change curriculum and institute a longer school day and school year.”

Blogger Perdidostreetschool notes that one of the struggling school was already being closed. He predicts that there will be many more sticks than carrots.

Perdido writes:

The goal of education reform is to slowly but surely privatize the school system, fire the unionized teachers, and replace schools with non-union charters.

That’s what Cuomo devised here with the budget legislation that allows for state receivership of so-called “failing” schools, but as is usual with the incompetents at NYSED, they screw stuff up and threaten to close a school that’s already closing.

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