Boston School Plan Requires Some Teachers To Reapply

This article is more than 11 years old.

Teachers at six under-performing schools in Boston will have to reapply for their jobs this fall, as part of an overall  city plan to turn around failing schools.

The strategy is called “fresh starting” schools, and is the most dramatic step reserved for the schools with the lowest test scores and graduation rates.

Superintent Carol Johnson announced the plan at a School Committee meeting Wednesday night. "What I don’t want you to hear is that the teachers at these schools are not strong teachers, and so will not be continued at these schools,” she said.

The district hasn’t yet said which city schools will undergo this dramatic overhaul. They are among a group of 14 schools targeted last November for a turnaround.

Those 14 schools are:  Blackstone Elementary, Dever Elementary, Emerson Elementary, E. Greenwood Elementary, Guild Elementary, Holland Elementary, J.F. Kennedy Elementary, Trotter Elementary, Orchard Gardens K-8, Tobin K-8, Dearborn Middle School, Harbor Middle School, English High School and Odyssey High School.

Plans for the remaining eight schools include hiring new principals, and merging failing schools with higher performing ones.

Boston officials hope the education plan signed by Gov. Deval Patrick this month will allow them to offer higher salaries to draw higher-quality teachers to these schools. The same law would enable them to extend the school day and school year, and expedite arbitration when trying to fire teachers.

In addition to working on these 14 schools, the district plans to create up to three "in-district" charter schools. The new education law enables Boston to create four charters, also known as Horace Mann Schools,  without union approval. These schools  would offer more flexibility for school management for structuring the school day and curriculum.

Johnson said she will seek proposals from charter management organizations and Boston teachers for running these new schools, which would not open until fall 2011.

This program aired on January 28, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.