Reforms laid out for San Francisco schools 

Paul Revere Elementary School will be getting a new principal, Willie Brown Elementary School will be shut down temporarily so that a new facility can be built and several other “persistently lowest-performing” schools in The City may endure major instructional changes as part of recent state and federal education reform efforts.

That’s what officials with the San Francisco Unified School District told lawmakers Thursday as they revealed preliminary plans on how they might move forward with reforms at 10 public schools that made a state list for being among the persistently lowest-performing.

The schools implementing the reforms can gain between $50,000 and $2 million in federal funding to do so each year for the next three years.

However, the schools must choose from four federally recommended reform options that are rather drastic and include firing principals, closing the school or turning them into charter campuses.

But the district’s preliminary plans appear to select the least-evasive routes. There are no proposals to turn schools on the list into charters. While Willie Brown will shut down, that plan was already in the works as the district is set to use bond money to build a new school.

Only one principal seems to be on the way out. Principals at five of the 10 schools are protected since they have been on the job less than two years, which was deemed not enough time to turn a school around.

Five of the schools will likely choose the fourth and seemingly least-drastic reform option, the “transformation model,” which includes increasing “teacher and school leader effectiveness,” implementing “comprehensive instructional reforms,” upping “learning time” and creating “community-oriented schools.”

Other schools also may forgo the federal funding this school year and wait until next year to implement reforms, the district said.

The plans are not set in stone and are subject to more community input, school district spokeswoman Gentle Blythe said.


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