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State Releases Grants for City High Schools Undergoing Improvement

Thursday, November 04, 2010

It's official. New York State has given New York City the $19.8 million it received in federal school improvement grants for 11 persistently low achieving high schools.

School improvement grants are part of the Obama Administration's plan for raising high school graduation rates. They're worth up to $2 million annually and can be renewed for up to three years if the schools hit certain benchmarks. That's a significant amount of money at a time when many schools are cutting their budgets.

The 11 New York City schools receiving the grants were selected over the summer -- giving them just a few months to plan how to spend the new money. They're each undergoing a "transformation" strategy, which is the least intensive form of federally-funded intervention. Transformation schools either kept their principals (if they hadn't been there a long time), replaced their principals, or were allowed to keep them in advisory roles. The money is intended for improving instructional strategies and hiring more experienced teachers to help lead the way.

The city could have chosen much more drastic measures in exchange for the federal grants, such as phasing out the schools and replacing them with new ones, or replacing up to half their teachers. By opting for the least intensive form of turnaround, the city signaled these 11 schools were on the right track.

In addition to these 11, there are 23 more schools that the state has also identified as "persistently lowest achieving" (most of which are on a larger list of 47 schools that could potentially be phased-out). The Department of Education says it's now making decisions on which of the federal models is the best fit for each school, meaning it could opt to keep them open with various interventions. The list of schools eligible for grants could grow even longer after the state releases an updated list of persistently lowest achieving schools in the coming weeks.


 

Unity Center for Urban Technologies

$757,113

 

Chelsea Career and Technical Education HS

$959,246

 

Bread & Roses Integrated Arts High School

$850,510

 

Automotive High School

$1,173,716

 

Brooklyn School for Global Studies

$890,934

 

Cobble Hill School of American Studies

$994,888

Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School

$1,800,000

 

William E. Grady CTE HS

$1,365,810

 

Queens Vocational and Technical HS

$1,300,508

 

Flushing High School

$1,800,000

 

Long Island City High School

$1,800,000

 

School Improvement Capacity (central admin, shared programs)

$6,107,378

1st Year Total

 

$19,800,003

 

WNYC is profiling two of the schools that received grants in our series The Big Fix.

We've already reported on the size of the grant for Chelsea Career and Technical Education High School in Manhattan ($959,246). The other school in our Big Fix series with GothamSchools is the larger, William E. Grady Career and Technical Education High School, in Brooklyn ($1,365,810).

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Comments [3]

maureen kenney from NYC

Will there be any opportunity for CBOs, independent service providers and or designated programs to apply for money (ala Annenberg Grants in 1998) so that we can afford to offer proven programs to students in need of support in other schools?

Nov. 08 2010 10:37 AM
Vylmary Bennett

I'd like to know why the School Improvement Capacity is obtaining a bulk of the funds. Is this to be spent on creating smaller classrooms?

Nov. 05 2010 04:53 PM
Leonie Haimson

I'd like more details as to the use of these funs, esp. what is the $6 million for central admin is to be spent on. This is nearly 1/3 of the total funding -- I thought these funds were supposed to be used to improve schools, not grow the central bureaucracy.

Nov. 05 2010 09:10 AM

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