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Boston School Superintendent presents plan to reform schools

Boston – Superintendent Carol R. Johnson presented a 5 year strategic plan Wednesday night geared towards closing current achievement gaps while better preparing students for college and career success.  Johnson presented this “Acceleration Agenda, 2009 -2014” to the school committee in the auditorium of the Orchard Gardens K-8 School.

According to The Boston Globe, Johnson released the names of 14 Boston Public schools that will face major overhauls and possible closures. The schools were chosen due to their chronically low MCAS scores.

The Boston Globe reports that the plan could affect more than 6, 000 students from Roxbury, Dorchester, and surrounding areas now dubbed the “circle of promise”. The “turnaround schools” include:

William Blackstone Elementary School in the South End
Paul Dever Elementary School in Dorchester
Ralph Waldo Emerson Elementary School in Roxbury
Elihu Greenwood Elementary School in Hyde Park
Curtis Guild Elementary School in East Boston
John P. Holland Elementary School in Dorchester
John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Jamaica Plain
William Monroe Trotter Elementary School in Dorchester
Orchard Gardens K-8 School in Roxbury
Maurice J. Tobin K-8 School in Roxbury
Henry Dearborn Middle School in Roxbury
Harbor Middle School in Dorchester
The English High School in Jamaica Plain
Odyssey High School in South Boston

The plan according to Boston Public Schools includes programs that will attract new recruits and retain “the best educators”, while seeking ways to “evaluate and dismiss ineffective teachers”. It also involves expanding rigorous learning experiences through investment in a variety of programs to assure the success of all students. Schools that do not meet performance targets will face possible closure.

“The days of business as usual are over,” said Dr. Johnson. “If we intend to see all, not just some, of our schools become centers of excellence we must take bold and swift action. Every student in our city has the right to a high-quality education. I believe this plan is the road map that will lead us to new heights, where Boston can serve as a model for every urban school district in America.”

“The “Acceleration Agenda, 2009-2014” proposes a new mission statement for the Boston Public Schools focused on student outcomes, as well as a new vision that describes the desired skills and characteristics of all BPS graduates. Dr. Johnson also has proposed nine core academic goals, each with specific, measurable targets for the next five years.”

For more information on specific schools involved please read this article from Boston Globe.

And to see the complete release by Boston Public Schools that explains the detail of the plan go to bostonpublicschools.org/print/3779.

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