Jefferson County Board of Education Chairman David Jones Jr. said he wants to hear more information on the idea of bringing in an outside operator to run some of the district's lowest-performing schools.
"The number of priority schools (in the school district) has gone up, rather than down," Jones said, saying that indicates that Jefferson County Public Schools does not have all the answers in handling its lowest-performing schools.Handing a priority school over to an external management organization - known in Kentucky education circles as an EMO - is one of four options that school districts in Kentucky can use to turn around persistently low-achieving schools. According to state law, the school districts would choose from a state-approved list of EMOs.No school in Kentucky has ever chosen to use an EMO, a Kentucky Department of Education spokeswoman said.Jones made his request for more information on using EMOs during a work session on priority schools at Monday's board meeting. "The board should, at least, look at this question of whether others have achieved better results than what we are achieving," he said.He said later that the point is just to have more information. "Since I've been on the board, it's never been talked about," he said.JCPS currently has 19 priority schools. Two schools - Fern Creek and Waggener high schools - just shed the dreaded label, while three other schools - Byck Elementary, Roosevelt-Perry Elementary and Moore Middle - fell into the status this year.Former JCPS Superintendent Sheldon Berman expressed interest in 2011 in the idea of turning over Knight Middle School to an outside operator, according to a Courier-Journal article at the time. But it appears that the discussion did not get far.The other three options districts have to turn around a low-performing school are closing the school, doing significant restaffing by potentially replacing the principal and up to half of the school’s faculty members, or selecting a transformation model that requires instituting "an extensive set of specific strategies" such as linking teacher evaluations to academic progress.Most JCPS priority schools have opted for the restaffing option, although some have also used the transformation model.
Thursday, December 24, 2015
JCPS chair: Outside org for priority schools?
This from the Courier-Journal: