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Posted at 3:53 PM ET, 05/26/2010

Plan to transform Va. school unveiled

By Washington Post editors

Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent Morton Sherman this week unveiled a plan for improving academic achievement at the city’s only public high school.

The transformation plan at T.C. Williams High School, which was outlined to the faculty Tuesday afternoon, would add more counselors to help students create personal learning plans for their English and math courses. It would also add more teachers in those core subjects, so they can teach fewer classes and spend more time planning lessons and helping struggling students.

The plan calls for the creation of a writing center, a mathematics center, and more opportunities for tutoring and extra help during and after school. It also calls for more professional development for teachers and more formal evaluations of their effectiveness. The plan was created with input from staff and students and needs to be approved by state and federal education officials before implementation next fall.

The instructional reforms are required by the federal government, which has dubbed the school a "persistently lowest achieving" school, based on average standardized test score. The school is expected to receive $2 million over each of the next three years to implement the improvement strategies.

-- Michael Allison Chandler

By Washington Post editors  | May 26, 2010; 3:53 PM ET
Categories:  Virginia  | Tags:  alexandria public schools, t.c. william high school  
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I see a lot in this about planning, but little about the responsibiities for students to complete their plans -- what do we do with those who won't comply and learn?

Posted by: JMACSR | May 26, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

The surest way to improve TCW's scores would be to change the way a huge chunk of ACPS families disregard education and fail to support their kids' learning. But that's not too realistic in the short run... so...

Immediate change for the better could be achieved by (among other things):

Deploying a cadre of hall monitors, with enforcement authority, to round up all the kids who run the halls instead of going to class.

Establishing an alternative high school, and implementing a program wherein any student who fails to meet academic or disciplinary standards is removed from TCW and placed at that school as long as needed.

The students at TCW who really want to learn - and they are a large majority - shouldn't have to have their education compromised and disrupted by the kids who don't.

Posted by: nan_lynn | May 27, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

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