New plans for NYC schools includes community support

Posted by New York Times on November 24, 2014

New centerpiece for NYC schools

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced a new approach to fixing the city’s troubled schools: more money and staffing, an extended day, and social services on site, reports Elizabeth Harris for The New York Times. De Blasio says these strategies are a sharp departure from his predecessor’s, which centered on closing large, failing schools and replacing them with smaller ones. The new program designates 94 Renewal Schools based on a list of criteria, including low four-year graduation rates for high schools and poor test scores for middle and elementary schools. Students at these schools will receive an extra hour of instruction each day, teachers will have extra professional training, and schools will remain open for summer. Schools will also receive a total of $150 million over two years, $39 million this year and $111 million the next. Going forward, these institutions will be designated Community Schools, addressing challenges students face outside the classroom with offerings like mental health services and food for students who lack enough to eat at home. Schools will work along a three-year timeline that will require improved attendance next school year and enhanced academic performance the following. Staffing changes may occur along the way, and if schools do not show meaningful improvement, they could still be closed.

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