Dear Commons Community,
The NY Times is reporting today that the Schools Chancellor Katherine Black is considering a new (for New York City) approach for “turning around” two schools in the Bronx: replacing the principals and at least half of the teachers, but keeping the schools and all of their programs running. The normal strategy for Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former schools Chancellor Joel Klein was to shut low-performing schools down, a drastic move that often incited anger and protests from teachers, parents and neighborhood officials. Since the beginning of the mayor’s first term, more than 110 schools have been shuttered or are in the process of closing.
The plan would bring together all the stakeholders including parents and the teachers union under the guidance of Green Dot Schools founder, Steve Barr, best known for turning around one of the toughest high schools in Los Angeles. This collaborative approach is long overdue in New York where for the past nine years there has been a “them against us” attitude perpetrated and embraced for the most part by the former Chancellor Joel Klein.
Children First Indeed!