The city has taken the option to close Sheepshead Bay High School and John Dewey High School off the table, opening the doors to hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funds to turn the schools around, according to Courier-Life.
But the decision to keep the schools open – and charter free – comes with a cost. Major faculty changes are on the way that may include wiping out and replacing more than 50 percent of the staff.
Sheepshead Bay H.S. (3000 Avenue X) and Dewey H.S. (50 Avenue X) were both included in the city’s list of schools in need of a turnaround as part of the federal Race to the Top grant program. Municipalities given the award receive up to $500,000 for every school it attempts to reform.
But reform must be done following one of four methods – turnaround, transformation, restart and closure. For Sheepshead Bay and Dewey, the city has nixed closure from its list for the two schools, along with restart – in which the school is handed over to a charter operator.
That leaves turnaround and transformation. The transformation model requires that the city replace the principal and use a “rigorous and equitable evaluation system” for teachers and other administrators to separate the good and the bad. With the more aggressive turnaround model, the school replaces at least 50 percent of its faculty and administrators.
There is no word yet from the city or the schools on which direction they’re going.