In the News: New York Knew Some Schools in Its $773 Million Plan Were Doomed. They Kept Children in Them Anyway

New York is preparing to end its effort to turn around the city’s lowest-performing schools, an effort launched in 2014, Eliza Shapiro reports in the New York Times. She notes:

Mayor Bill de Blasio promised to “shake the foundations of New York City education” in 2014 with a new program called Renewal, a signature effort to improve the city’s 94 poorest-performing schools by showering them with millions of dollars in social services and teacher training.

The New York City Department of Education has been warning the mayor for years that many of the schools in the program were not meeting goals and probably never would, however, the schools have been kept open.

Whether any grand turnaround strategy can work is the subject of a 2010 article by Andy Smarick, “The Turnaround Fallacy.” He wrote:

For as long as there have been struggling schools in America’s cities, there have been efforts to turn them around…

But overall, school turnaround efforts have consistently fallen far short of hopes and expectations. Quite simply, turnarounds are not a scalable strategy for fixing America’s troubled urban school systems.

— Education Next

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