Three low-performing Queens high schools will be receiving more than $1 million each in federal funds each in order to improve their performance.
Flushing and Long Island City high schools will each receive $1.8 million and Queens Vocational and Technical High School will get more than $1.3 million of the $19.8 million city Schools Chancellor Joel Klein announced Thursday that the city Department of Education has secured for the program.
“Thanks to these federal dollars, we’re bringing great mentor teachers to struggling schools, putting in place innovative curriculum reforms and extended learning time, and strengthening supports for English language learners and students with disabilities,” Klein said.
President Barack Obama’s administration’s School Improvement Grants Fund requires states and localities to identify their bottom 5 percent of schools and implement one of four school improvement models for each. The three Queens schools, along with eight others in the city, were chosen for the “transformation” turnaround model.
The city’s transformation model will reward highly effective teachers through an evaluation system, allowing the school’s principal’s to attract and retain top-notch faculty. The school’s principals have already hired proven teachers who received 15 to 30 percent bonuses in exchange for working in the identified schools. Other strategies, including leadership changes, the use of data to identify and implement effective instruction for students, an intensive approach to address the social and emotional needs of all students, and partnerships with community groups, are also being used to help increase performance at the schools.
Over the next two years, the schools will be eligible for additional grant funding if they can demonstrate progress in implementing the transformation plans.
There are 23 other city schools which have been identified by the state as persistently lowest achieving, and the city is currently deciding which of the other three federal school improvement models — turnaround, restart or closure — is the best fit for each of those schools. At that point, those remaining schools will become eligible for millions of dollars of funding. The state will also release an updated list of persistently lowest achieving schools in coming weeks, providing the opportunity for more schools to receive federal school improvement grants.
Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at csheets@cn
©2010 Community News Group
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