Blog: More changes hurt students, struggling schools

Drastic changes seem to be yet again underway within the school district's lowest-performing schools.

The principals at all Empowerment Schools are expected to attend a meeting on Friday to be briefed on what are being called "mid-course corrections" - modifications to the literacy and math schedules of students, reports Frank Murphy on the education blog City School Stories. The corrections in these schools will also affect instructional times and teacher assignments, he said.

The newest changes to Empowerment schools' appear to be a point of contention with some school-based employees.

"The proposed changes are not ones that would be recommended by anyone who understands how an elementary school works," Murphy wrote. "Central office staff, book company representatives or both seem to be behind this latest upheaval to the operation of individual schools."

Key reported changes, include: Expanding instructional time for reading program Imagine It to 120 minutes in grades K-6; instructional times for Glencoe Literature and Prentice Hall Math will be expanded to 90 minutes in grades 7 and 8;

"Changing instructors stifles the development of important teacher and student connections that are so important for creating safe learning environments. Implementing such a change just prior to the winter holidays when other interruptions to the regular school schedule are likely, makes this a particularly unsound idea," Murphy contended.

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