Tuesday, August 24, 1999

Five city schools facing overhaul

Accountability plan targets poor performers

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Five city elementary schools are performing so poorly that Cincinnati Public Schools leaders may overhaul them this year and open them with new academic programs and staffs in fall 2000.

        Bond Hill, Burton, Heberle, McKinley and Windsor were identified Monday night as needing redesign in the district's School Accountability Plan, now in its second year.

        The plan recommends redesign if schools have dismal achievement and don't improve in three years. It places schools in one of five categories based on improvements the school made over the past three years. Each school was graded against itself.

        Two redesign teams, made up of teachers, principals and administrators, will review the schools' data to ensure redesign is the only antidote. Superintendent Steven Adamowski said he will make a final recommendation on redesigning the schools by November.

        “We're attacking this aggressively,” school board member Lynn Marmer said. “The children in these schools are having their opportunities for the future squandered, and we need to change that quickly. This is right and appropriate to identify those schools that need dramatic change.”

        Seven schools were recommended for redesign under last year's plan.

        Two — Roosevelt and Peoples — closed. Two others — Clifton and Parham — were revamped and will reopen with new programs and staffs when classes start Aug. 31. Redesign of the remaining three — Woodward, Taft High and Withrow — was postponed until administrators complete a comprehensive redesign plan of the district's high schools.

        The plan also awarded the Schiel Primary School for Arts Enrichment the School Incentive Award, meaning it's the only district school to meet all its improvement goals.

        Fourteen of the district's 77 schools ranked as exemplary in the “school achievement” category; 30 as improving; and 19 as needing intervention. Seven schools were exempted from the ranking.


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