Bad strategy to close bad schools

Aug 26, 2016 by

Closing schools is a draconian measure which is not supported by the research or best practices

Gov. Rick Snyder has tasked the state School Reform Office (SRO) with holding low-performing school districts and schools accountable for improving the quality of education.

Last week, the SRO announced plans to potentially close some of the lowest performing schools in Michigan at the end of the 2016-17 school year.

In the SRO’s statement, it indicated some schools in the bottom 5 percent (i.e., priority schools) would likely be closed, but the SRO did not provide any specifics of its closure plan. Currently, there are 184 schools on the priority schools list with 59 percent of the schools located in urban areas with majority African-American populations.

Natasha Baker, the reform officer of the SRO, said: “A starting point could be taking three years of data, closing schools that fell in the bottom 5 percent.” Therein lies the problem because Baker did not layout an objective, fair, or transparent process for potentially closing these low-performing schools.

Source: Bad strategy to close bad schools

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