Monday, October 20, 2008

Where are the reconstitution plans for Aki and AAA?

Seattle Public Schools has two schools in Step Five of sanctions under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) elements of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA): Aki Kurose Middle School and the African-American Academy. Those schools in step five are required to restructure. When the schools were in step four of sanctions last year they were required to write plans for their restructuring. This year, in step five, they are required to implement those plans.

So what are they doing? How is Aki Kurose or the AAA getting restructured? Where are their plans? What is being done to comply with the federal law? Why isn't everyone in the District leadership talking about this?

From the OSPI's description of NCLB sanctions:
Step Four

In this step, school districts are required to undertake "school restructuring." The district has one year to prepare a restructuring plan with an implementation timeline for schools in this step. The plan must be implemented the following year if the school does not make AYP again and enters Step Five.

The restructuring plan needs to include at least one of the following three actions:
• Replace school staff, which may include the school principal, who are relevant to the school's inability to meet standards;
• Enter into a contract with an entity with a demonstrated record of effectiveness, to operate the school; or
• Implement other restructuring activities that are consistent with the principles of restructuring.

The district must provide technical assistance that emphasizes (a) the importance of improving instruction by using strategies grounded in scientifically-based research so that all students achieve proficiency in the core academic subjects of reading and mathematics, and (b) the importance of analyzing and applying data in decision-making. The district must also continue to offer public school choice and supplemental educational services to all eligible students.

Each of these schools got a new principal last year. Aki Kurose also got a new principal this year and will get another new principal next year. Yeah, that's right. Four principals in four years for Aki Kurose. How is the school supposed to turn around with revolving door leadership?

If SPS thinks that they can pass off the change in principals as their version of "restructuring" I have to wonder who is going to allow them to get away with that sort of deception. I don't recall anyone saying that the former principals were relevant to the schools' inability to meet standards. Without saying that, replacing the principals won't count as meeting the requirements of the law.


Unknown said...

How 'bout the option on the table to move AS#1 into AAA's building to coexist? I absolutely do not believe that's a good idea (AS#1 should be left at Pinehurst and supported/promoted as the great school that it really is), but I suppose you might call that "restructuring".

Kristin said...

What happens to principals when they're replaced? Are they fired, or do they move to another school?