Mayor Bill de Blasio is canceling one of his signature education initiatives, acknowledging that despite spending $773 million he was unable to turn around many long-struggling public schools in three years after decades of previous interventions had also failed.I am old enough now to remember dozens of educational fads that have all come and gone without making any real impact on the sad reality of American education: the more poor students, the worse the school.
The end of the initiative, called Renewal, is a blow to Mr. de Blasio, who had hoped that success would bolster his effort to build a national reputation for innovative policies. Urban educators around the country had also looked to Renewal as a model for improving underperforming schools in historically troubled districts, rather than closing them.
Instead, the program has been plagued by bureaucratic confusion and uneven academic results since Mr. de Blasio began it in 2014. Though some of the nearly 100 low-performing public schools have shown better results, many have fallen short of the improvements that Mr. de Blasio predicted. The Renewal label itself caused parents to seek other options, causing enrollment in some schools to plummet. . . .
The question of how to fix broken schools is a great unknown in education, particularly in big city school districts. While some small cities like Lawrence, Mass., and Camden, N.J., have achieved some success with different strategies, no large school system has cracked the code, despite decades of often costly attempts.
Tuesday, February 26, 2019
In New York, Giving Up on Struggling Schools
The Times reports: