The district and School 41
On the Rochester school board's decision to close School 41 and reopen it as a new school:
If Rochester is serious about trying to make this school a success for the students, why don't they try something that is actually different, such as asking a charter school to take it over? There is no guarantee of success, of course, but charter schools in Rochester, New York City, and many other cities are outperforming traditional public schools, so why not give it a try?
I am surprised, or maybe not, that City has not written anything about a study that was issued this week that measured how students progressed over five years in various cities around the country. Chicago did very well, with their students progressing six years in five, although they started out scoring below grade. Rochester scored the worst in the nation, progressing 2.9 years in 5.
Opening school 41A is simply not going to do it.
Crossing my fingers that it turns into the military school that was discussed last year. I know Van White reads City and posts comments sometimes, so crossing my fingers he sees this and can add some info to the story.
The board will no doubt select some consulting group that has expertise at turning around schools. They will take every penny available and then some. After three years, they will be gone. No emotional commitment, just a short fix. Throw it into the pot of 30 years of failure.
If board members were courageous, they would give the school to the people who want to work in it and the parents who will send their kids to it. They would also make sure the school operators have autonomy from the superintendent and her constraining tentacles.
Last, they would guarantee that any confining union expectations were loosened.
This is all very unlikely. Courage is not embraced by those who are content with the status quo.
GOTTA SAY IT
The concept of closing a non-performing school and opening a "new" school on the same premises (presumably with many of the same "educators") is the rough equivalent of what some ill-performing hotels have done to avoid negative reviews on websites like TripAdvisor.
I was told by a cab driver in Chicago not too long ago that hotels sometimes escape the legacy of poor consumer reviews by closing and then reopening under a new name, which is a technique for burying the old, negative reviews. It appears that the RCSD is also trying to adopt this deceptive practice. Just another way the district can escape accountability.
On our article on K2 Brothers Brewing: What a dumb, fad-laden country this is. IPA's have been in existence for hundreds of years, but suddenly they have regained mass popularity because people in this country are a bunch of trend-following sheep. Wonder what the self life (pun intended) on this is?
Good luck to them though, hoping on the latest train. Let us know when the next cross-fit gym (also overly saturated) opens.