Friday, January 29, 2010

Alonso plan would give Baltimore middle-school students school choice

Alonso is trying to do some great things in Baltimore:


Baltimore would begin giving students a choice of where they attend middle school next fall under a plan expected to be presented to the city school board tonight.

City schools CEO Andrés Alonso's proposal also calls for the closing or revamping of 12 schools, primarily middle schools, that are some of the lowest-performing in the city and often have declining enrollments.

In his latest move to restructure the district, Alonso is attempting to create more competition among schools and more opportunities for parents.

"Poor, urban parents should not be imprisoned by their geography and only have a choice of poor schools," Alonso said.

Under the plan, the city would see a small growth in its number of publicly funded charter schools, transformation schools that serve grades six through 12 and outside groups that take on significant roles in several schools.

If the plan survives scrutiny by the public and is approved by the school board in the next couple of months, fifth-graders in elementary schools would be given a choice of where they go to school next fall, rather than being assigned to a neighborhood school. Fifth-graders in schools with kindergarten through eighth grades would also get to move to a charter or new transformation school, but they would be given lower priority than the fifth-graders at an elementary-only school.


Alonso plan would give Baltimore middle-school students school choice

12 low-performing schools would be closed or revamped


By Liz Bowie |,0,2287019.story

 Subscribe in a reader