It would distribute money to states yearly, and they would distribute it to districts that have competed for grants to turn around schools that rank in the lowest 5 percent statewide. They would be required to implement one of these four strategies:
• The “restart” model would convert a school into a charter school or one run by an autonomous organization.
• The “transformation” model puts a new principal in place who has a track record of improving schools. It also introduces a comprehensive set of other changes so that teaching and curriculum are improved with research-based approaches.
• The “turnaround” model takes a similar approach to transformation, but it also replaces at least 50 percent of the staff.
• The “closure” model shuts down the school and disperses students to other schools in the district.
These “changes” seem to lay all the blame on failing schools on the principal and teachers at the school. They do not consider at all the percentage of kids that aren’t getting fed, the kids who stay up late taking care of their siblings while a parent is working or doing less productive activities. Is the staff being provided with the proper professional development opportunities to learn how to help students that are struggling or that come from difficult home lives? Is there a school nurse on staff, a full time social worker, a full time psychologist? They don’t consider the materials available to school, or even the money wasted on testing that could go elsewhere. It doesn’t consider the value the community of that school places on the school, or the support it receives. This is not a viable solution. If we are going to make changes, we need to consider all of the factors. Not everything can be blamed on the teachers.