Failed School Initiatives in Prince Georges Co.: Wash. Post

This sounds eerily like Dr. Grief’s initiatives to re-jig some Guilford County Schools.

In today’s Washington Post, reporter Nelson Hernandez discusses several reform efforts underway in many suburban Prince Georges County schools under the leadership of Supt. John Deasy:

At a board meeting last month, Deasy said he hoped to provide sample proposals by July and have small schools begin opening by fall 2009.

Board members said they are excited by Deasy’s ideas. But they are also cautious, aware that in the history of Prince George’s education, many have made promises of improved student achievement but few have seen them through.

At the recent meeting, Heather Iliff (District 2) brought up the example of Northwestern High School in Hyattsville. In 2000, students there were introduced to a new building divided into four sub-buildings connected by a main hallway. Each housed a specialized program, part of an effort to provide smaller, more focused learning environments — an idea similar to Deasy’s proposal to create academies in various subjects at each high school.

“By the time it was built, the funding wasn’t there,” Iliff said.

The problem was the cost of extra staff. Only a few positions were needed, but at the time, the system faced an $82 million budget deficit. Leadership had also changed between the time the idea was developed and when it was supposed to go into effect. Although the programs were begun, they have never unfolded quite as envisioned.

E.C. šŸ™‚

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